Though Harvard, like many governmental and private institutions, observed Veteran’s Day on Monday this year, professors and students were still expected to follow their normal schedules.
Still, some members of the Harvard community found time to honor America’s servicemen and women.
On Monday morning, a small group of Harvard affiliates gathered on the steps of Memorial Church for a brief ceremony.
After the Harvard LowKeys sang the national anthem, Harvard Kennedy School professor Roger B. Porter gave a short speech praising the dedication of America’s armed forces.
“We pause to honor those who have served proudly and with great courage and sacrifice,” Porter said. “Their willingness to serve, the bonds that bind them to their fellow soldiers and sailors are strong and precious.”
The crowd then observed a moment of silence before dispersing.
Elizabeth L. Malkin ’13, vice president of the Harvard College Veterans Engagement Initiative, said that her group organized the brief ceremony to give Harvard community members an easy way to honor the nation’s military men and women.
“We wanted to do something easy and accessible so even those people who may not have a lot of time would be able to show their appreciation,” Malkin said.
Elsewhere on campus, Harvard affiliates found other ways to honor America’s veterans.
Bethany A. Kibler, a tutor in Cabot House who is also a U.S. Army veteran, organized a screening on Monday of “The Invisible War,” a 2012 documentary that examines rape and sexual assault in the United States military.
After the screening, Kibler spoke candidly about her own experiences in the U.S. Army in a short question-and-answer session.
“I firmly believe that honoring our armed forces and submitting them to healthy critique are not mutually exclusive,” Kibler said in an interview after the event.
While some administrators and staff had the day off, Malkin said she was disappointed that the University did not extend the holiday to all Harvard affiliates.
“Serving in the military is one of the biggest sacrifices a person can make,” Malkin said.
This year the Nov. 11 holiday fell on a Sunday, but was observed on Monday.
Classes will again be held on Veteran’s Day next year, but will be canceled on the holiday in 2014 and 2015, according to the academic calendar of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
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