Maricopa Campus Celebrates Veteran’s Day


Melissa Sikes, Cactus Staff Writer

Freedom is not free. On November 10th, from 4p.m. to 5p.m., Central Arizona College’s Maricopa campus held an event honoring the veterans who fought for our freedom and country for Veteran’s Day on the 11th.

To start off Maricopa’s second annual celebration, Megan Brown, one of CAC’s Academic Advisors, took to the microphone to introduce Maricopa High School’s ROTC to present the colors, while the National Anthem played in the background. With our star spangled banner flowing in the wind, those veterans in attendance stood and saluted the flag.

Once the National Anthem ended, Brown introduced the Student Leadership Officers to lead the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and, afterwards, a moment of silence to honor those who had fallen. This is when Academic Dean, Dr. Janice Pratt, took to the podium. She shared her stories of her family’s service in both World War I and World War II.

Next up was fellow student and Navy veteran, Steven Franklin. From Mr. Franklin, we received an account of his times in the Navy. He served on the U.S.S. George Washington and revealed that he missed the boat.

Last up to speak was former city council  Julia Gusse. She spoke about a family member she lost in the war in Iraq. They were in a vehicle and were hit by a grenade. He was the only one killed in the attack.

As the event came to a close, the attendees were delighted by an array of refreshments catered by A’viands.

Belinda Clifford, library aide, was in attendance at the event and when asked for her thoughts stated, “It was a very nice celebration for the service of the men and women in Maricopa for our country.”

Megan Brown, the event organizer, stated, “I enjoyed planning the event. It gave me a lot of pleasure to plan an event that recognizes the local veterans for their service to the country. It went well. Each speaker shared an inspirational story and it was exciting to see how many community members came out to support the event.” She went on the say, “My hopes for next year’s event, as the campus grows, we can attract more veterans to celebrate the day.”

As one that was in attendance, I believe this was a beautiful way to honor our veterans. Clifford agreed stating, “Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and had a great time conversing and sharing memories.”

There were seven veterans, one active, and one future Marine in attendance at the event. As I watched them share memories of the good ol’ days, I was taken back in time to when they were young soldiers and the losses they had to face. I would like to personally thank those veterans for their service to the United States of America.d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);