On Nov. 11, we take the time to honor our veterans, those who have sacrificed so much with their service to help protect us and keep us free.
We have parades and other ceremonies honoring that service so that we might never forget.
But the University of Virginia announced they would be ending one ceremony they had used for more than a decade to honor veterans – a 21-gun salute.
The salute traditionally comes at the end of a 24-hour vigil by ROTC cadets.
Why are they eliminating it?
Because it might trigger sensitive students and cause trauma to them if they heard the shots, according to the Washington Examiner.
“One is that it would be disruptive to classes and two unfortunately with gun violence in the U.S., there was some concern that we would cause a panic if someone heard gunshots on grounds,” Jim Ryan, the college’s president, told NBC29.
Seriously? Are they kidding? So they’re going to remove an honor the people who actually went to war and suffered real trauma because kids who would have ample warning as to what the shots were about might be bothered?
Just so wrong.
Veteran Jay Levine, who was in UVA’s ROTC program, said he was unhappy with the decision and planned to recruit other veterans to protest the school’s decision. “I am very disillusioned, very upset, and very surprised that they would make such a decision,” Levine said.
According to The College Fix, the local paper got a lot of letters blasting the decision.
One letter argued that the decision disrespected the fact that the university’s rotunda hosts plaques honoring hundreds of alumni slain in previous wars. Another argued “veterans deserve better.”
The decision also sent “an unfortunate message about students: That they are too fragile, too delicate, too distractible to deal with the ‘interruption’ of the salute. That they are too insular, too wrapped up in their own worlds to comprehend and accept this longstanding practice. That they must be protected from the reality that exists outside academia,” another letter writer chimed in.
Some Twitter users responding to Ryan’s statement were a little more blunt. Among them: “How ‘we’ reached the decision? The buck stops with you. Score one for the snowflakes.”
In the words of one of the alumni:
As an alumnus, I am embarrassed. What pantywaists. https://t.co/9vMYRUzlUS
— Brit Hume (@brithume) November 11, 2019
The vigil will continue this year without the salute at the end. Ryan said that given the backlash, they will look into how they might be able to re-introduce the salute in some way in the future.