Couldn’t we do more?

Imagine if Castleton State College decided to skip Christmas this year. There would be no Christmas break, no festive meal specials and definitely no holiday spirit. The only recognition of Christmas would be the closing of the mailroom, because post offices aren’t open on holidays. The campus community, parents, friends and the public would be furious over the disregard of such a national holiday.

But recently a national holiday passed and there was no uproar for the lack of participation on behalf of the school. The only mention of the holiday came from an e-mail, sent campus-wide, that the mailroom would be closed on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009. It was Veteran’s Day, the national holiday where the entire country reflects on all of the blood, sweat and tears our soldiers have lost trying to protect the people at home.

Castleton State College is a public college. So why is it that Castleton chose to ignore such a major day in United States history? Certainly they don’t think they are above recognizing the thousands of lives we have lost in Iraq? Or in Vietnam, or World War II?

It is disrespectful of Castleton to ignore such an important holiday. Especially when some students have been deployed, and professors have served. For some students who aren’t being deployed, parents, siblings and cousins are enlisted.

The least that could have happened was a requested moment of silence at the beginning of each class to remember those we have lost. A moment of silence is nothing in comparison to what these soldiers are giving up for their country. Other local public schools were out of session for the entire day to recognize the importance of our veterans. A Soundings event could have been held in remembrance of those fighting for our freedom.

Soldiers come back different people, changed from who they once were. Every time a group is deployed, there is a chance they may not make it home. Is that not worth hearing about? There are injuries to the body and to the soul that others may never hear about. Some secrets are carried heavily with these veterans to their grave, not wanting to burden those around them. And Castleton ignored this.

Veteran’s Day is celebrated with reason. It is celebrated because we are a free country and we have those putting their lives on the line to thank for our abilities to vote, to drive in a car, travel and pursue happiness. The recognition of such sacrifice should take place in the classroom, especially in a public school.

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