By Jamie Kerner
The University of Maryland Veteran Student Life’s annual Veteran’s Week culminated on Nov. 10 with a Veteran’s Day vigil and memorial service, both held at the Memorial Chapel.
Every fall semester, corresponding with Veteran’s Day, the University’s Veteran Student Life hosts Veteran’s Week to recognize, honor and celebrate the sacrifice and service UMD’s student veterans of past and present.
The Vigil for Fallen Veterans lasted from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and was held on the front steps of the Memorial Chapel. Cadets of the armed forces were stationed outside of the Chapel’s front entrance as they silently held vigil and honored the lives of those who were killed in the line of duty.
The Honor and Remember Veterans Day service, which took place inside the Chapel, was hosted by the university’s Division of Student Affairs. The event strived to salute the sacrifices of UMD student veterans. The program included live patriotic music, performed by campus music groups MannerMusik and the Mighty Sound of Maryland. There were also personal reflections by two UMD student veterans of past and present, Jan Atwood and Marwin Glenn.
The program began with an invocation reflection from sophomore computer engineering major and Muslim Student Association member, Adnan Zaber.
“Today we commemorate the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much in service of this great nation,” Zaber said. “We show our highest gratitude to them for their courageous acts that ensure the safety and liberty that define us as Americans.”
“Perhaps we can never serve the same way our veterans serve us, but we can try, by practicing kindness and caring for one another. Today and every other day, we honor and show complete appreciation to our veterans who continue to fight for the great values of this country,” Zaber said.
Atwood was the first of the two veterans to speak. She is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who received her Master’s degree in recreation from UMD in 1989. As a proud supporter of the current UMD student veterans, the alumna addressed the progression of women’s equality and involvement in the Army.
“I’m going to talk to you a little bit about the changes for women in the Army over about 40 plus years because that’s what I know,” Atwood said.
“We only recently got the Combat Exclusion Rule lifted so that women could serve in all capacities,” Atwood said. “I really enjoy hearing how far they’ve come and all that they have been able to accomplish,” she said.
After serving 16 years with the Marines, Marwin Glenn retired and enrolled in the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in May. Now Glenn is working on his Master’s degree in quantitative finance. He works as a team leader for Peer Advisors for Veteran Education to assist UMD veterans with their academic life and post-military experience. He is an intern with the Student Affairs Development Unit, where he helps raise money to benefit veteran student life on campus.
The day of the memorial service was also Glenn’s birthday, and he decided to not adhere to the traditional somber Veteran’s Day speech norms, but instead, speak about the positive impact veterans make and about the importance of a support team.
Dr. Linda M. Clement, Vice President of Student Affairs and the host of the memorial service, said the University of Maryland is highly regarded as an institution that provides great support to student veterans.
“In a study conducted by the organization College Factual, UMCP recently was ranked number three among four-year institutions in the 2018 list of best colleges for veterans,” she said.