Dozens of students and faculty gathered on campus Monday for a Veteran’s Day flag-raising event.

Veterans honored

Juan Villa / The Collegian

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Dozens of students and faculty gathered on campus Monday for a Veteran’s Day flag-raising event.

The event was held near the Thomas Administration building and gave several veterans of the U.S. armed forces an opportunity to address the public.

Bernie Vinovrski, associate vice president of enrollment services at Fresno State, was the first veteran to address the crowd.

Vinovrski said the event was held to honor the employees and veterans of the US military, as well as those who are serving in battle this very day.

“As a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, I take personal pride in this ceremony,” Vinovrski said.
He said he was glad to be among fellow marines who epitomize such strength and commitment.

The holiday was first recognized in November of 1919. President Woodrow Wilson reminded the nation that we should take time to reflect on the armistice, which was an agreement to stop the fighting in World War I on November 11, 1918. He proclaimed the day Armistice Day, a day for Americans to reflect on those who died in this country’s service.

Shortly after World War II, the word “Armistice” was replaced by “Veteran’s” so that all veterans would be honored, not just those who lost their lives.

Before the flag was raised at the event on campus, two ROTC units marched in behind the hum of bagpipes. Air Force, Marines, Army and Navy Veterans were scattered throughout the crowd, some in full uniform.

During the flag-raising ceremony, a Fresno State chamber choir sang “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America.” All who attended the ceremony were asked to participate in a flag salute, and also observe a moment of silence for those who died in combat.

The keynote speaker at the event was Marine Corps veteran Tanya Crabb, who works as a counselor for University Outreach Services at Fresno State. When fellow marine Vinovrski introduced her, he was happy to identify her as a Parris Island Marine.

“Today we gather to pay tribute to those who willingly defend our freedom,” Crabb said.

Crabb fought in Desert Storm in 1991 and offered prayers for the protection of men and women in the U.S. armed forces. Reflecting on her own memories of war, Crabb said it was a privilege to serve along side these men and women.

Also at the event, a group of students was presented with an award.

Col. Kevin Martin from Randolph Air Force Base presented the Fresno State Air Force ROTC with the Right of Line Award.

“This award is for the finest medium-sized detachment for our Air Force ROTC,” Martin said.

While the soldiers stood at attention, Lt. Col. Sam Vandiver accepted the award and joked that it was the Air Force’s turn to bring a national championship to Fresno State.

Maj. Tom Ringlein of the Air Force ROTC was at the event, and enjoyed the company of what he called a very supportive crowd.

“I’ve been in places where the people aren’t so supportive,” Ringlein said. “But in Fresno, it’s different.”
While Ringlein had feelings of pride while listening to Crabb’s speech, he started to think about how he was going back to Iraq in March.

“The whole time she was talking about ‘men and women fighting in Iraq’, I couldn’t help but think that I am going in March,” Ringlein said.