Veterans Day in sports: Honoring the holiday

Kristen King // Staff Writer

Considering the stress that may come with serving the armed forces, many veterans enjoy watching sporting events as a good source of entertainment to help unwind and relax their mind.

“When things got bad in the Armed Forces Network overseas, we had no choice but to watch sporting events. It was the one thing that distracted us from our everyday lives,” said Air Force Veteran Michael Johnson.

There is a connection between athletes and veterans because they tend to be hailed as heroes in their respective fields. Pat Tillman, the American football player who left the NFL to serve in the army after the 9/11 attacks, serves as the perfect example of this association.

As citizens, it’s important to honor these brave men and women by recognizing Veterans Day. We follow the example of those in the sports industry and join them in recognizing these heroes.

If you’ve ever noticed, during the commercials of game broadcasts, the major sport leagues always show quick clips of their players giving thanks to the armed forces for fighting to keep our freedom.

“I think it takes a special person and someone with passion for their country to serve in the military,” said sophomore Ashley Leon. “It’s always important to honor anyone who has chosen to put their life on the line for lives of people they don’t even know.”

To honor our veterans, the University closes both campuses for the observance of the holiday. FIU also provides benefits, both educational and domestic, for veterans and active duty members of the student body.

It’s worth noting that a lot of the freedoms we enjoy today, notably attending college, have been fought for by our veterans.

“Even though it’s not like other grand holidays, it should still be treated as one,” said University alumnus Raiesa Ali. “As long as there are men and women out there fighting for my freedom, then they should be celebrated and admired by everyone.”

Regardless of the manner through which you observe this holiday, what matters is participation.  This holiday is more personal to some than others, said Leon, but the respect should always be expressed.

“I have a good friend who is a Marine and takes so much pride in what he does and who he is so I respect and applaud him for that,” said Leon. “But even if you don’t have a personal experience with veterans, we as citizens need to come together and show them that we appreciate what they have done.”


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