Saturday, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day, and this weekend BYU and other locations in the Provo-Orem area will be hosting a variety of events to honor the men and women who have served in the U.S. military. Here’s a look at what’s going on.
Annual BYU Presidential Review
On Thursday, Nov. 9, BYU Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC met at Brigham Square for their annual Presidential Review. According to Travis Bailey, the department chair for the Department of Military Science and head of BYU’s Army ROTC program, the review involves members of the Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC presenting themselves for an inspection.
“The cadets stand in formation on Brigham Square and are addressed by the university president and a guest speaker,” Bailey said.
The opportunity to hear from President Reese was particularly exciting for new Air Force cadet Daniel Stevens, a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering.
“I think this is something really beautiful, special and unique. BYU has a unique spiritual heritage which President Reese emphasized today. Really seeing all the military service come together is really meaningful to me,” Stevens said.
This year’s guest speaker was Brigadier General Derek J. O’Malley. O’Malley is the deputy director of operations on the North American Aerospace Defense Command at the Peterson Space Force in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
For Stuart Spear, an Air Force ROTC junior majoring in cybersecurity, having the chance to participate in a time-honored tradition and being part of a unique spiritual heritage is what makes this event so special.
“This is an incredible tradition that we hold, and I think this is epitome of what it really means to be a BYU student,” Spear said.
Bailey said the Army ROTC plans to also celebrate Veterans Day with displays at Helaman Fields before Saturday’s football game. They will also have a special color guard from the Veterans of Foreign Wars alongside the cadet color guard at the game, in addition to a giant flag that cadets will hold during the national anthem and at half-time. There will also be a section set aside for veterans and cadets at the game.
Bravo! “For Heroes Proved: Veterans Day Celebration“
Friday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m., BYU’s Bravo! concert series will be celebrating Veterans Day with a patriotic tribute concert featuring Tony-nominated star Derek Klena. Klena is known for his performances in Anastasia, Moulin Rouge and Wicked. The BYU Wind Symphony will also be playing for the event. Local veterans along with their families are invited to attend the event free of charge and can purchase their tickets online or by visiting the ticket office in the concert hall.
SCERA Center for the Arts
The SCERA Center for the Arts in Orem will be holding its Celebration of Veterans on Nov. 11 at 9 a.m. The event will feature music and patriotic presentations and is free to the public.
According to April Berlin, operations manager for the SCERA Center for the Arts, the event began over a decade ago and was meant to be a way for veterans to feel celebrated for their efforts.
“We wanted to provide a free community event that honored our local veterans and their families, along with some great musical entertainment,” Berlin said.
The event will include a Parade of Service Flags which Berlin says always brings emotion and is filled with patriotic spirit.
“We are always touched by the Parade of Service Flags and those in the audience who stand up to be recognized for their service. It never gets old, and usually a few tears are shed by audience members and our staff,” Berlin said.
The event will also feature Guy W. Grenny, one of Orem’s last remaining World War II veterans, as its keynote speaker.
BYU Air Force ROTC Veterans Day Devotional
On Sunday, Nov. 12, the Air Force Alumni Chapter is inviting the public to a Veterans Day devotional. This year’s devotional will include guest speaker Chaplain Spencer Cooper, a Major in the Utah Air National Guard. Cooper will give an address titled, “The Calling of Veterans and the Vulnerability of Service: What being a veteran truly means.”
According to the AFROTC, Cooper’s insights will encompass the challenging responsibilities and realities of becoming a veteran and sacrificing oneself for another, with the ultimate outcome being a healing relationship with and witness of the Savior.
Cooper’s journey with the military began after he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps following a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Brazil. He served seven years in the Marine Corps, which included two tours in Iraq with Security Forces Echo Company, 1st Marine Division. Following an honorable discharge from the Marines, he entered the Navy Chaplain candidate program and now serves with the Utah National Guard.
Service uniforms are encouraged for the event which will be held in room 2254 CONF at BYU.