Wreath ceremony to honor veterans held at Felsberg Plaza

By Shannon McMullen/Staff Writer

 

The University held their first Memorial Day Wreath Ceremony at the Felsberg Veterans Plaza on Friday, May 25. 

People gathered to honor veterans who gave their lives in service and they participated in a moment of silence and the laying of a wreath before the statue.

Michelle Garcia, the junior manager for special events, put this event together along with her director.

“It was a simple Memorial Day reflection [to] remember our veterans and anyone that’s ever served our country,” Garcia said.

Garcia said they had been planning the event for two weeks and the only thing that didn’t go as planned was the weather. However, people still showed up for the ceremony.

A lot of people get wrapped up in their daily lives, she said, and they forget to pay their respects to those who have given their lives. For her, this ceremony was a reminder of what Memorial Day weekend is all about.

Amanda Niguidula, the director of the Disability Resource Center, said that the Felsberg Veterans Plaza, which was unveiled in November, came about through a partnership with the University and some donors who acknowledged the sacrifice of Paul Michael Felsberg, an FIU student and marine who died in the line of duty.

“We want to start having a tradition of recognizing heroes and FIU students who have served and be able to commemorate Memorial Day in this space that’s been set aside for our FIU student veterans,” Niguidula said.

Niguidula said, given how new the plaza is, this was an opportunity to bring attention and have a commemoration on a holiday like Memorial Day.

President Mark B. Rosenberg was a big pushing factor for this ceremony, according to Niguidula.

Niguidula said that Rosenberg has a very strong sense of patriotism for our country, and a strong passion for recognizing service and those who look out for the needs of others.

“The president of the University’s vision for being a veteran and military-friendly community is starting to really come together,” Niguidula said.

Students can find out about important events that are going on in the university like these through a list serve provided by the Veteran and Military Affairs Department.

Niguidula said some of the people present at the ceremony were representing the University’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

“The significance of this ceremony is that we all have busy lives and a lot going on. We sometimes forget to hit pause, particularly on days where they’ve been set aside for us to reflect,” Niguidula said. “To realize that people we may have known, or people we didn’t know … have gone out and sacrificed their time and their lives so we could pursue our education, live in this country and appreciate the freedoms that we do.”

 

Featured image by Shannon McMullen

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