“We gather here today to honor the service of all American veterans. Their contributions can never be overstated or underlooked,” said Charles J. Fey, vice president for Academic Support and Student Affairs, during his opening remarks at NJIT’s Veterans Day ceremony. “We owe them a debt of gratitude.”
On Friday, Nov. 11, the NJIT community and university guests assembled in the Campus Center Atrium to honor the men and women who have served to protect the United States. The Office of the Dean of Students sponsored the event, with participation by the NJIT Veteran Students Organization (VSO), NJIT Air Force ROTC and NJIT Student Senate.
Following greetings from NJIT VSO President Nickolas Wall and the Posting of the Colors by the NJIT Color Guard, Keynote Speaker Lt. Col. Brian Dickenson, commander of Air Force ROTC Detachment 490, addressed the attendees. “Our nation has faced many challenges and continues to remain strong because of our veterans,” said Lt. Col. Dickenson, noting not only their “unwavering dedication” with the “highest ideals of service to our nation,” but also the “often uncelebrated” sacrifices made by their families.
Before the ceremony concluded with a procession to the Campus Green to raise the flag and present and lay a wreath, several veterans from the NJIT community took the stage to reflect on their time in the military. Charles Brooks, executive director, Office of Institutional Effectiveness; Angelo Perna, director, McNair Achievement Program; and Tony Howell, executive director, EOP, briefly shared their experiences in service to America.
Daina Pizarro, a junior in the Air Force ROTC Detachment 490, summed up her own experience taking part in NJIT’s observance. “It really is an honor to be part of this ceremony and this program,” she commented. “I want to follow in the footsteps of those who came before me. I want to make my mark for other female cadets.”
NJIT’s commitment to helping service members and their families receive the necessary education and training to pursue civilian careers was recently recognized for the third straight year. The university earned a 2017 Military Friendly® Schools Designation from Victory Media, a leading ratings entity for more than a decade and publisher of G.I. Jobs, STEM Jobs and Military Spouse.