Stanford honors veterans in campus spaces dedicated to their valor

Stanford will celebrate Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 9, with floral wreaths in Memorial Court and Memorial Auditorium, along with a letter from President Marc Tessier-Lavigne at both campus locations.

In his Veterans Day Letter, which will be displayed by 11 a.m. on Friday in Memorial Court and Memorial Auditorium, President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said the university is proud of the members of the Stanford community who have answered their country’s call to serve.

“As a symbol of our gratitude and respect for the service and sacrifice of Stanford’s veterans, we have placed wreaths at both Memorial Court and Memorial Auditorium on this Veterans Day,” Tessier-Lavigne wrote in the annual letter, which will be displayed with floral wreaths at both campus locations.

Memorial wreath

On Veterans Day a memorial wreath is placed at Memorial Auditorium to honor veterans from the Stanford community. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

“These wreaths, which are momentary, and these structures, which are with us for generations, underscore the esteem with which the university holds our veterans – a sentiment expressed so visibly when Jane Stanford established Memorial Court itself. The tributes are especially meaningful to me, as the son of two veterans.”

This year, Veterans Day, which is celebrated across the country, falls on Sunday.

Currently, the Stanford community includes 58 active-duty military personnel, 110 military service veterans, more than 30 dependents of veterans, and eight students with Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarships. The campus veteran community includes undergraduate and graduate students, as well as visiting fellows at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and the Hoover Institution. Beyond campus are alumni who served in the military and who continue to serve.

“These individuals inspire us and their unique perspectives contribute to the vibrancy of our community,” Tessier-Lavigne wrote.

Jane Stanford, who co-founded the university with husband Leland Stanford, established Memorial Court in 1900 to recognize the service of the Stanford volunteers in the Spanish-American War of 1898. In 1937, the university extended the tribute to Memorial Auditorium to honor members of the community who died in World War I.

Today, Memorial Auditorium commemorates the alumni, students, staff and faculty who have died in every war since then, including a memorial in the lobby honoring those who died in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Please set aside a few moments to note the names on these walls and contemplate the lives lost that they represent,” Tessier-Lavigne’s letter said. “Consider what their service meant and reflect on the liberties we enjoy because of their devotion. These spaces help us remember and learn from their valor – every day, and especially on Veterans Day.”

David Rice, assistant director of the Office for Military-Affiliated Communities at Stanford said the university is holding a private Veterans Day event at the Faculty Club this week.

“Since my arrival on campus, I have spoken with many staff and faculty about the importance of including and welcoming veterans into the Stanford community, so on Veterans Day, I ask everyone to think about this,” he said.

“Not only have veterans made sacrifices and served their country, but they add real value to the classroom. Veterans bring maturity and experience to the classroom and they enhance discussions about real-world issues.”

Each year, the National Veterans Day Ceremony is held on Nov. 11 at Arlington National Cemetery. This year, the ceremony commences at 11 a.m. on Sunday with a wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries. The ceremony honors and thanks all who serve in the U.S. armed forces.