Do you recall the outrage we all felt when the University of Virginia canceled the Veterans Day 21-gun salute as part of their ceremony? It was done all because there was more concern about the sensitivities of the “snowflake” generation concerned about being triggered, as opposed to the generations of men and women who have charged into harm’s way to protect our freedoms and liberties. Well, it appears that the President of the University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson, has had an epiphany.As reported by CNS News:
“The University of Virginia (UVA) has reinstated its annual Veterans Day tradition of a 21-gun salute to honor fallen service members and admitted that it “made a mistake” by canceling it this year. As CNSNews.com reported on Veterans Day, November 11, 2019, the University of Virginia (UVA) had canceled its tradition of honoring fallen veterans with a 21-gun salute on Veterans Day, citing concerns that it will disrupt classes and frighten students. On Saturday, UVA Pres. Jim Ryan released a statement announcing that the 21-gun salute had been reinstated and offering “sincere apologies” to those who objected to the cancellation of the tradition honoring the nation’s veterans:
“Sometimes you make mistakes. Although motivated by good intentions, I believe we made a mistake this year in excluding the 21-gun salute from our Veterans Day ceremony. Having attended the ceremony, and having consulted with the Commander in charge, I am confident that we can accommodate a 21-gun salute, which had been a meaningful feature of the ceremony in years past.
“We will therefore reinstate the 21-gun salute next year, and we will make sure to minimize any disruptions to classes and communicate the details of the ceremony in advance. Thanks to all who shared their views about this topic, and my sincere apologies to any who may have doubted our commitment to honoring our veterans, whom we hold in the highest esteem and who deserve our gratitude.”
My first issue to address, is why did UVA President Ryan decide to release a statement this past Saturday? On a weekend? How utterly shameful and cowardly to do so. Especially on a Saturday of the weekend prior to Thanksgiving. Was his intention to be that this would go unnoticed and then perhaps next year disallowing the 21-gun salute would again be unnoticed? Why did he not have the courage to make this statement standing before a gathering of veterans at a press conference and offer an apology?
This was not just some “mistake,” it was a grave and gross disregard and disrespect to our veterans, and for what reason?
I want to reiterate something, President Ryan made the wrong decision. If there had not been such an overwhelming response to his foolish acquiescence to the leftists-in-training at his university, all would have been well. Ryan would have been best served to firmly state to the students who made this absurd request to be in attendance at the ceremony and stand in honor and a tribute to those for whom the 21-gun salute is fired, after which Taps is played.
This was a missed opportunity, a teachable moment for President. Ryan to be the adult, he blew it. And making a Saturday statement only says that he is most likely responding to some very angered alumni, Virginians, Americans, and veterans.What should President Ryan do? Simple, have every one of those students who sent him a complaint about firing a 21-gun salute spend a weekend with Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, or Coast Guardsmen in Virginia. Have those individuals see what duty, honor, courage, commitment, and integrity are, in the embodiment of our honorable men and women. I do not think that any student at Virginia Military Institute or Virginia Tech would have made such a disturbing demand to cancel a 21-gun salute on Veteran’s Day.
Folks, it is time we start being the grown-ups. Thanksgiving is in 48 hours. Are you going to allow your child or grandchild coming home from college or university to tell you what they will and will not discuss? Are you going to allow them to tell you that their professor knows better than you do? If I had a child or grandchild that was attending the University of Virginia, the first question I would be asking is, “Did you have any part in this idiocy to cancel the 21-gun salute on Veteran’s Day”? If they did, there would be a serious discussion about the abject disappointment I had in them.
Then again, perhaps there are some parents out there who believe that on Veteran’s Day we should not render proper honors by way of a 21-gun salute to those who have sacrificed for our nation, those who will not be home for Thanksgiving ever again.
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LTC West is running for Chair of the Republican Party of Texas! To support his efforts, please visit his campaign website!
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During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.
In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.
West is a commissioned officer in the Texas State Guard. He’s Fox News Contributor, former Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom, and, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, and the forthcoming We Can Overcome.