More than 100 people gathered on Ruth J. Simmons Quadrangle at noon on Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, to honor members of the Brown and Rhode Island communities who have served in the U.S. military or other nations during a Veterans Day ceremony. Speakers included U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, Brown President Christina Paxson, and current Brown student and U.S. Navy veteran Matthew Ricci.
Community and student veterans, ceremony participants, and guests gathered at the flagpole on the College Green at noon. The procession followed a bagpiper to Ruth J. Simmons Quadrangle, where the ceremony took place. The Jabberwocks, a student a cappella group, opened the ceremony with the National Anthem. University Chaplain the Rev. Janet Cooper Nelson followed with a dedication and also closed the ceremony with a benediction.
Nathan Lovejoy, a Brown student and U.S. Army veteran, introduced the ceremony speakers. President Paxson talked about the history of Brown students in service, from the Revolutionary War to present-day conflicts in the Middle East. “We would not enjoy the freedoms and opportunities that we do today were it not for their dedication to the greater good,” Paxson said.
Reed acknowledged the two student veterans participating in the ceremony, Ricci and Lovejoy, noting that they “represent my life's two great passions: soldiers and submarines.” He noted that Brown’s ceremony, which began in 2009, and similar ceremonies taking place around the country to mark the holiday, are “an expression of the sacrifices and service [of veterans] and the debt we owe to veterans everywhere.”
The event was organized by Brown University Student Veterans Society, the Office of the Dean of the College, and the Office of Campus Life and Student Services. Information about the ceremony, as well as Brown’s military programs and services can be found online at the Office of Student Veterans and Commissioning Programs.