By: Rebecca Panico
Kean student and military veteran, Clara Garcia, put in a proposal last week for a more viewable veterans memorial on campus which was well received by faculty and the administration.
“The only memorial we have on campus right now is behind a tree and it’s only for Vietnam veterans. I wanted something that was in plain view and for all veterans,” said Garcia, who served one tour in Afghanistan and is currently president of the Military and Veterans Club on campus. Garcia also explained that moving the current memorial would be too difficult. “We’d have to get the approval of all the families whose names are listed on that one,” she said.
Instead, board members Aaron Faria, Ernst Celestin, Tonimarie Giordano, and Garcia of the MVC had come up with the idea to put a flagpole outside of the Center for Academic Success building.
It only took a matter of days for Vice President Philip Connelly to spring into action once he received Garcia’s email. Within four days, Connelly had maintenance crew members erect their flagpole. In addition to the traditional flag, it also features a POW/MIA flag for soldiers that are prisoners of war or still missing in action.
The new flag stands in perfect view of the plaza which is right outside the University Center. This will allow more space for the small ceremony that the MVC will hold on Veteran’s Day in November. The MVC has invited guests from Linden High School and Seton Hall to participate in this event, and the extra space will ensure that everyone fits.