Remember veterans, students say


    By Emily Hellewell

    Ron Knight, a cadet captain in the Air Force, always had a desire to serve. He decided the best way would be to give the ultimate sacrifice: his life.

    “Absolutely,” said Knight, 24, a junior from Ontario, Calif., majoring in international politics, when asked if he would be willing to give up his life serving his country.

    The greatest sacrifice anyone can make is to die to make others free, Knight said. It is what Jesus Christ accomplished with the Atonement, he said.

    Knight said he joined the service to defend this country and to keep the peace.

    Most students don’t comprehend the atrocities of war and mass destruction, Knight said. They forget the sacrifices previous veterans made, and what those sacrifices have meant to the United States.

    The theme of the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action division of the Armed Forces is “you are not forgotten,” Knight said.

    “That is something I try to live by,” he said.

    Veterans sacrificed everything to give the following generations freedom, Knight said. Veterans deserve great respect.

    Kate Mullen, 21, a junior from LaFayette, Calif., majoring in early childhood education, said she agreed that BYU students should honor the veterans.

    Veterans have given this country so many freedoms, she said.

    But Mullen said she did not have plans to honor any veterans. Mark Grandstaff, professor of military history, said students don’t always respect veterans because they don’t understand what veterans sacrificed.

    There has not been a major military conflict or a draft in their lifetime, Grandstaff said. Students cannot associate with those who fought in World War II or the Vietnam War.

    Grandstaff said he does not blame students for not honoring veterans.

    “There is no reason, by necessity, to feel patriotic, because we are one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful country in the world,” he said.

    Grandstaff said veterans need to be remembered for the freedoms they fought for.

    “What needs to be celebrated, is the way of life that was preserved,” Grandstaff said. “At times democracies require people to give their all in order for the rest of us to be able to live in this society that is free.”

    One way to remember the service of veterans is to work with enemies to prevent future conflict, Grandstaff said.

    “That’s the goal of every good veteran, is to find a way to keep their sons and daughters from going to war,” he said.

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