The SJC Brooklyn community joined together during its annual Veterans Day Celebration on Nov. 11 to thank those who serve, as well as those who have served, in the U.S. Military.
“Veterans Day is a day of remembrance for all,” said Vincent Miñan ’18 ’20, who’s been serving in the U.S. Navy since 1999. “Yes, it’s remembrance for service members of the past and present … but it also remembrance for those who support the service members.
Miñan said that, to him, Veterans Day is a chance to thank his support system — including the St. Joseph’s College community — that made it possible for him to serve his country for the past two decades.
“The family members. The close friends. Coworkers,” he said. “If it wasn’t for the support back home, I guarantee we all would not be able to do our performance with precision. So I thank you all.”
Changing of the Flag
During the ceremony, Miñan and SJC Brooklyn alumnus Rev. Charles Byrd ’17 took part in a special flag folding ceremony, where armed forces members symbolically fold an American flag 13 times into a triangle before it’s given to a person in attendance who recently lost a beloved veteran.
“The flag is symbolic of our great nation,” Byrd, who served in the U.S. Army from 1975 to 1993, said. “And it represents when we were first created, the first 13 colonies. And it reminds us of people who sacrificed themselves.”
Byrd said each fold has a specific meaning, beginning with the symbol of life. The final fold, when the flag is in a triangle with the stars on top, symbolizes the country’s national motto: “In God We Trust.”
The event, held in the Tuohy Hall auditorium, also featured Kris Figueroa ’22 of the U.S. Air Force leading the Pledge of Allegiance, and the national anthem sang by Christian Branch ’11, assistant for student involvement, leadership, and intercultural engagement. Executive Dean Phillip Dehne, Ph.D., shared a special welcome message, and SGA President Eva Jefferson-Page and Vice President Alexis Buchanan presented this year’s challenge coin.
The ceremony came to a close with Branch, along with the 30 people in attendance, singing “God Bless America” in unison.