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Appalachian honors lives lost to war

BOONE—More than three dozen Appalachian State University students, faculty, staff and alumni have lost their lives while serving in the military. They and countless other Americans were remembered May 27 during a pre-Memorial Day ceremony on campus.

veteransplaque.jpg“Memorial Day is a single day during which we pause to honor the men and women who have fallen on the field of battle for our nation,” said guest speaker Gunther Doerr. Doerr is director of public safety and risk management at Appalachian and a retired Army lieutenant colonel.

“As we prepare to observe Memorial Day as part of our three-day weekend, let us not lose sight of the true spirit and meaning of this day. Let us pause to say thank you to those who most of us never knew who died in battle fighting for our freedom,” Doerr said. He then read the names listed on a plaque at the university’s Veterans Memorial located next to the B.B. Dougherty Administration Building.

Soon, another name will be added to the plaque – Terry Varnadore, a 2003 graduate of Appalachian who died in Afghanistan in April. Varandore was a chief warrant officer and helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army.

“All wars cost, and part of that cost is that some people must die. Let us not take their death for granted,” Doerr said.

Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock spoke of a newspaper article that reported 20,000 service men and women who are serving abroad are from North Carolina and that many of the individuals are graduates of Appalachian. Peacock said all too often people fail to remember the importance of observing Memorial Day.

“Appalachian is a university that does remember those who serve in the military and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice,” Peacock said. “That has been the culture of this institution for years.”

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