11/11/2009 Brodhead fails to observe Veterans Day

Fact Checker here.

Thank you, Elad, for this thoughtful column.

I note that there are 39 events listed on the official Duke University calendar today, none in the least related to our veterans.

Yes, the Brodhead administration, after being hammered for two years, and I mean hammered, recently did re-dedicate the wall in Memorial Quad, updating the display of names after 50 years of neglect. This was a long, long overdue tribute to Dukies who died for freedom's cause, very much appreciated by the family and friends of the fallen.

Today, Brodhead and other administrators should be leading another ceremony: to honor all Dukies who wore the uniform of their nation. It baffles me how the Alumni Director can annually present a wreath at the monument to the six civilians who died in the World Trade Center, but ignore all other displays of patriotism.

And despite criticism of my view, I do not mind repeating that those six just happened to be in the Trade Center, an immense distinction from our veterans who deliberately and courageously stepped into harms way.

We have so many veterans to honor beyond those who sacrificed their lives. Men and women whose commitment and bravery often rose into the realm of valor. The first who comes to mind is a member of the President's Cabinet, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Shinseki, who spoke at the re-dedication, an alumnus who rose to be Chief of Staff of the Army despite a major injury in the Vietnam War. In recent times we have also provided the nation with a commandant of the Marine Corps, the general who led our entire effort in Kuwait and the admiral who led the entire Naval Reserve. To merely begin the list.

President Brodhead and others in Allen Building: It is a disgrace that their service is not recognized today. You bring shame to yourselves.

√Fact Checker.

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