Elegant ceremony honors FDU vets on Veterans Day at Florham Campus

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The Color Guard raises the American flag during the Veterans Day ceremony at Fairleigh Dickinson University's Florham Campus. (Photos by Dan Landau)

By Kenna Caprio

Under an overcast November sky, a large crowd gathered outside of the John and Joan Monninger Center for Learning and Research. Members of the Fairleigh Dickinson University community stood for a short Veterans Day ceremony that included brief remarks, a color guard procession, the FDU Chamber Choir’s rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner,” and a moment of silence.

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“There are 19.3 million veterans in the United States,” said University President Sheldon Drucker. In 2014 and 2015, student veterans composed five percent of FDU’s graduating classes. “We owe these good people a lot.”      

Drucker provided a brief history of the holiday in his address, noting its origins as Armistice Day, celebrated on November 11, following the cessation of fighting in World War I. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower changed the name of the holiday to honor all those who have served in the military.

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Senior Paul Danilack plays 'Taps' in honor of Veterans Day.

Senior and psychology major Paul Danilack, a member of the Pep Band, played “Taps” on the trumpet. “It’s really special,” he said. “My brother and sister are in the army and my grandfather served. I’ve played ‘Taps’ before, but it’s been awhile and it was nice to be a part of something like this again.”

The ceremony closed with “Amazing Grace” on bagpipes as the color guard marched away.

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The FDU Chamber Choir sings “The Star Spangled Banner” a capella.