Stanford honors veterans – past and present – on Veterans Day

Stanford will celebrate Veterans Day today by placing floral wreaths in Memorial Court and Memorial Auditorium, accompanied by a letter from President Marc Tessier-Lavigne.

To commemorate Veterans Day, Stanford will place floral wreaths today in Memorial Court and at the entrance to Memorial Auditorium by 11 a.m., along with a letter from President Marc Tessier-Lavigne.

Memorial wreath

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

In his letter, Tessier-Lavigne said the university is proud of the members of the Stanford community who have answered their country’s call to serve and to protect our freedom.

“These wreaths are momentary, but these structures are with us for generations,” Tessier-Lavigne wrote. “Together they signify the esteem with which the university holds our veterans. This sentiment was visibly expressed when Jane Stanford established Memorial Court itself. As the son of two veterans, I find tributes such as these to be especially meaningful.”

On Veterans Day, which falls on Nov. 11 each year, the nation honors and thanks all military personnel who served the United States in all wars, particularly living veterans.

This year, 91 military veterans, 29 dependents of veterans and seven students with Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarships are studying at Stanford as undergraduate and graduate students, and as visiting fellows at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and the Hoover Institution.

“We also honor the many alumni who have served and continue to serve today,” Tessier-Lavigne wrote. “All of these individuals inspire us, and their special perspectives contribute to the vibrancy of our campus community.”

Inside Memorial Auditorium, the names of 485 alumni veterans from succeeding generations are listed on six plaques. The newest, dedicated just three years ago, bears the names of Stanford alumni who died in Afghanistan and Iraq. In Memorial Court, a plaque honors the service of Stanford volunteers in the Spanish-American War of 1898.

“Every day, but on Veterans Day in particular, these spaces help us remember those who have served and learn from their valor,” Tessier-Lavigne wrote.

“Please take a few moments to note the names on these walls. Contemplate the lives lost that they represent, consider what their service meant, and reflect on the liberties we enjoy because of their devotion.”

Last week, the Office for Military-Affiliated Communities at Stanford held a Veterans Day reception for campus veterans and dependents of veterans.

The evening event included an address by Lt. Col. Theodore “Leo” Liebreich, a 2019-20 National Security Affairs Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a Southeast Asian Foreign Area Officer in the U.S. Army.

Three Stanford student veterans also spoke at the event: Rachael Nicol, a sophomore majoring in psychology and participating in the Honors in the Arts program in the School of Humanities and Sciences; Eve La Puma, a senior studying theater and performance studies with a certificate of music in bassoon performance in the School of Humanities and Sciences; and Thomas Higginbotham, a student at the Graduate School of Business.