JMU Dedicates New Memorial to Fallen Veterans
From: Public Affairs
James Madison University joined local observances honoring America's military veterans over the weekend, culminating with the dedication Sunday, Nov. 8, of a new memorial honoring Harrisonburg and Rockingham County veterans who died in foreign wars.
The memorial, built near the entrance to new softball and baseball fields at Memorial Hall, is "a visual reminder of those who gave their lives for us and our way of life," said JMU President Linwood H. Rose during opening remarks inside the softball stadium. Rose, who was joined on the stage by Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-6th District), Harrisonburg Mayor Kai Degner and Rockingham County Supervisor Michael Breeden, said he also hopes the memorial reminds people "that somewhere in the world there is a solitary soldier that is standing as a guardian for our democracy, and for that, we should all be grateful."
Goodlatte thanked the veterans in the packed stadium, telling them they "are part of a long and distinguished list of brave, patriotic men and women who've helped to liberate victims of oppression, spread freedom and democracy across the world and preserve the freedoms that our nation was built on. Your service is definitely marked by self-sacrifice, making you heroes in the truest sense of the word."
In addition to the remarks, the ceremony featured music from JMU's Marching Royal Dukes and a performance by the U.S. Army Drill Team. Following the festivities inside the stadium, the ceremony moved to the memorial for the reading of a resolution and a ribbon cutting.
JMU student Timothy Norville, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, said it is important to remember past events that led to the freedoms that Americans enjoy and that the event was a fitting tribute. "It was a remarkable show and great support from the community. I came out today to support the local veterans. I'm out here to support this beautiful monument," Norville said.
The monument dedication was preceded by Harrisonburg's annual Veterans Day Parade through downtown, which also featured the Marching Royal Dukes. On Saturday, the Army Golden Knights Parachute Team delivered the game ball to Bridgeforth Stadium for JMU's game against the University of Maine.
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Nov. 9, 2009