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Remembering the Fallen

07_05Memorial04_t.jpgWorld War II veteran Earl Moretz from Boone, left, and Maj. Robert O. Gibbard from Appalachian State University’s Department of Military Science and Leadership prepare the U.S. flag to fly at half-staff for the Memorial Day observance. The day was bittersweet for the university community as it remembered 1993 graduate Maj. Larry Bauguess who was killed May 14 in Pakistan.

Gibbard, who has visited veteran memorials in Gettysburg, Penn., Washington, D.C., Pearl Harbor and France, commented on the Veterans Memorial located on campus. “None of these monuments in all of their grandeur mean more to me than this rock that sits in the middle of our campus,” he said. “This rock (is) etched with the names of young men who many of you knew or who were your friends. We all knew them though because they played basketball in Varsity Gym, researched papers at old Belk Library, burned the midnight oil in dorms. They fished the same rivers we fished, they swam in the same lakes, they hiked the same trails. But the difference is these young men never returned to us.”

Gibbard told those attending the ceremony to honor those who have given their lives to their country by never turning a blind eye to another person’s plight, by volunteering with community organizations, and by supporting the military. (Appalachian photo by University Photographer Mike Rominger)