Veterans Day 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the original Armistice Day, when World War I was ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln plans several events to recognize veterans’ contributions to the university, the state and the nation.
Nov. 8: Brandon Rumbaugh, a retired U.S. Marine who lost both legs after stepping on an IED in Afghanistan in 2012, will speak in the Nebraska Union Auditorium from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Rumbaugh shares his story of challenge and obstacles to motivate others. His talk is sponsored by the Military and Veteran Success Center. The event is free for UNL students with NCard and $5 for faculty, staff and the general public.
Nov. 9: During the National Roll Call, beginning at 12:50 p.m. in the Nebraska Union Colonial Rooms A and B, volunteers will take turns in a nearly five-hour effort to read aloud the names of nearly 5,000 Nebraskans who have fallen during service from World War I. The nationwide grassroots effort is intended to send a message of remembrance and support from college communities to currently serving troops. The event is free and open to the public.
Nov. 10: Salute to Veterans with a special tribute to World War I, including an honor guard in WWI uniforms, during the Nebraska vs. Illinois football game. A special POW/MIA chair has been designated this season in Section 33, row 18, of Memorial Stadium, in honor of more than more than 800 Nebraskans lost in combat whose fate remains unknown. During each home game, a decorated veteran is assigned to take a post next to the unoccupied chair.
Nov. 11: The university will hold a 7:45 a.m. ceremony to dedicate two new plaques outside Memorial Stadium’s original main gate, Gate 20 in the stadium’s east concourse. Although a drawing in the 1924 NU yearbook depicted plaques on both sides of the gate, nothing remains today but faint shadows on the walls where they were believed to have been installed. After fruitless efforts to locate the originals, the university created a new set. One plaque honors Nebraska veterans and Gen. John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces, who taught at Nebraska and held a Nebraska degree; while the other recognizes 113 university students who served. Also during the ceremony, university officials will reveal a design for a veterans’ tribute to be installed near the Pershing Military & Naval Science Building, home of the Reserve Officer Training Corps.
Nov. 14: At 10:30 a.m. in Memorial Stadium, Nebraska’s Student Veteran Organization and the University of Iowa Veterans Association will launch a 347-mile ruck march to deliver the Nebraska-Iowa game ball from Memorial Stadium to Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. The march leads up to the Nov. 23 game between the Huskers and the Hawkeyes and raises awareness about suicide among military veterans. Each marcher carries 20 pounds of belongings with personal significance in recognition of 20 veterans who take their own lives each day. Team Nebraska will hand off the game ball to Team Iowa on Nov. 19 at Freedom Rock in Menlo, Iowa.