UCA plans Veterans Day event

The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) will observe its 19th Annual Veterans Day Celebration and dedication of the University of Central Arkansas War Memorial on Thursday, Nov. 3.

This year’s Veterans Day Celebration will begin at 1 p.m. on the lawn in front of McAlister Hall, near the center of campus. In the event of rain the service will be held in McCastlain Hall. The war memorial dedication will take place at 1:40.

The event will commemorate and honor the service of all veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and feature notable speakers, food, music and a Veterans Information Fair. The Veterans Information Fair will provide information on employment opportunities, support and other services that are available and important to veterans.

The University of Central Arkansas has installed a War Memorial at the north end of McAlister Hall on the campus.

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin will be the keynote speaker. Griffin has served in the U.S. Army Reserve for 20 years, was deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Penn.

The War Memorial includes the names of fallen UCA alumni from World War I, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Somalia and Global War on Terror. UCA dedicated a memorial to World War II alumni in 2003. The War Memorial is approximately 60 percent larger than the World War II Memorial to accommodate alumni who may perish in future wars.

“It is fitting and proper that we honor our alums who have made the ultimate sacrifice for us. With this memorial and the World War II memorial, we now have all of our alums listed,” said UCA President Tom Courtway. “While we pray and hope additional names will never be added, there is room to do so. We, as a community, are very grateful and proud as we dedicate this memorial.”

The black granite War Memorial is nearly seven feet tall, when the base is included, and seven feet wide. It weighs approximately 7,000 pounds, not including the base. It is illuminated with lights each night.

“On the north side is the name of the memorial and the emblems of the five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces,” said Jimmy Bryant, director of Archives and university historian. “On the other side, the south, are the names of the wars/hostile actions and the names of UCA alumni who died in those wars and hostile actions.”

The War Memorial was installed on Oct. 4.