A ceremony was held Sunday to honor lives lost and those currently serving the country on the 94th anniversary of Veterans Day, Nov. 11 — the day that officially ended all fighting in World War I.
“Today we would like to remember all veterans out there,” said Corey Lonberger (junior–public relations), president of Penn State Veterans Organization.
PSUVO worked with Omega Delta Sigma, Penn State’s Veterans Fraternity, to organize the ceremony Sunday, Lonberger said. Speeches were made at Old Main, followed by a bagpipe performance at the Lt. Michael Murphy memorial at the Penn State Veterans Plaza. A luncheon at Heritage Hall wrapped up the activities.
Lonberger, a veteran of eight years, spoke of the hardships student veterans often encounter when transitioning back into civilian life.
“We have a different life,” Lonberger said. “Things are a little harder.”
Greg Lensie (freshman–social psychology and pubic relations) said Sunday was the first time he was able to celebrate Veterans Day since he joined the service.
“I was always working on Veterans Day when I was deployed,” Lensie said. “We didn't get any holidays off. I'm looking forward to just enjoying the day.”
Lensie said it hasn't been the most enjoyable transition coming to Penn State and starting classes with those who are younger than him.
“I'm 25, so being in classes with 17 and 18 year olds is bizarre,” Lensie said. “I love my classes, but there is definitely a gap between myself as a veteran and the other students.”
Lensie said he joined Omega Delta Sigma in hopes to connect with other student veterans. The fraternity is connected to PSUVO but was inducted into the Interfraternity Council as an official fraternity in April, he said.
Steph Curry (senior–anthropology) is a part of Omega Delta Sigma's first new member class. Curry said she became interested in the fraternity because her friends were in it, as well.
Omega Delta Sigma chapter adviser Colonel Lewis Watt, a Vietnam veteran, spoke at the Old Main gathering both last year and this year. Watt said he was pleased to see how Veterans Day recognition has evolved.
“When I came home from serving, people just did not honor us due to the social climate,” Watt said. “It's great to see so many people coming out and thanking veterans for their ultimate sacrifice.”
Jorge Trevino, a retired officer from the United State’s Navy and an adviser with the Penn State World Campus to military students, said it was “good to see” veteran students running Sunday's events.
“It's about sacrificing today,” Trevino said. “These students are sacrificing their time for those who did and continue to sacrifice everything.”