Veterans Day ceremony features color guard, singing of the national anthem
Veterans have made sacrifices on behalf of all Americans and their service should never be forgotten, Rep. Xavier Becerra said Tuesday during a ceremony honoring student veterans at Cal State LA.
Becerra was joined by President William A. Covino, as well as current and former student veterans, who gathered with others on a crisp fall afternoon to remember the men and women who have served in all branches of the military.
The ceremony began with a moving rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by veteran and Los Angeles County firefighter Humberto Agurcia. The Valley Veterans Memorial Team, which is composed of local veterans, presented the colors.
As he spoke, Becerra turned to the students who filled the University-Student Union Plaza, thanking them for attending and noting that everyone has a duty to public service. He presented a flag that flew at the U.S. Capitol in honor of Cal State LA veterans.
“It’s a privilege and an honor to be able to present this flag to all those warriors who are here at Cal State LA,” said Becerra, whose 34th Congressional District includes Eastside neighborhoods served by the University.
The flag was accepted by senior Thomas Lawson, a Navy veteran who is vice president of the Cal State LA Student Veterans Organization.
More than 500 veterans are enrolled at Cal State LA, which has been recognized by US News & World Report as one of the best public universities in the West for veterans. The University’s Veterans Resource Center, which sponsored the ceremony, specializes in offering academic support counseling, peer counseling and other services to student veterans.
President Covino said the University owes a debt of gratitude to veterans.
“We are proud that they answered the call to serve in the armed forces and proud of their work on campus and in the community,” Covino said. “They demonstrate the meaning of our mission of engagement, service, and the public good.”
Alumnus Louie Guan, who served two combat missions in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division, offered advice to students from lessons he learned marching across the desert.
“There are peaks and valleys in life,” said Guan, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Cal State LA. “But we just have to be able to make the most of it.”
Photos: Top, members of the Valley Veterans Memorial Team. Bottom, from left to right: student veteran Thomas Lawson, President William A. Covino, Rep. Xavier Becerra and alumnus and veteran Louis Guan with flag presented to the University by Becerra. (Credit: J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)
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Cal State LA is a university dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 27,000 students and 240,000 distinguished alumni, who are as diverse as the city we serve. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Cal State LA has long been recognized as an engine of economic and social mobility. Led by an award-winning faculty, the University offers nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and the humanities.
Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex, TV, Film and Media Center and the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good. For more information, visit CalStateLA.edu