George Mason University
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George Mason University

Mason Pays Tribute to Veterans

November 2, 2012

By Frances Womble

The 2011 Veterans Day Remembrance Wall was covered with messages and keepsakes within a few days after it went up on the North Plaza. Photo courtesy of the Office of Military Services

Adorned with messages and keepsakes, the 8-foot-high Veterans Day Remembrance Wall helps the Mason community pay tribute to veterans as part of “Mason Honors the Military Week.”

The wall went up this week and will stay in the Johnson Center North Plaza through Nov. 12.

“Last year, I think the wall was almost full by the third or fourth day,” says Aaron Emery, office manager and transitions coordinator in the Office of Military Services.

“It’s very touching. People even put up photos,” says Jennifer Connors, director of Military Services.

Beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 7, Military Services is collaborating with the Printmakers Guild and the Peace Paper Project for a five-day paper-making event. The event is open to everyone, and Emery says participants will be invited to turn an item of significance into paper.

“For veterans, this significant item could be a military uniform or even discharge papers,” he says.

“It’s very therapeutic, actually,” says Connors, who created paper pieces from parts of her uniform.

The founders of the Peace Paper Project and Patrick Sargent, a veteran and student in the School of Art, will be on hand to oversee and coordinate the project.

Mason’s ROTC, Patriot Battalion, and the Office of the President are sponsoring a Veterans Day luncheon on Friday, Nov. 9, beginning at 11:45 a.m. in the Center for the Arts. Retired Gen. Mick Kicklighter, director of the Center for Infrastructure Protection and Homeland Security in the School of Law will give the keynote address.

“It’s an honor to have General Kicklighter participate. He has such an important role in the Mason community, which was preceded by an impressive military career,” Connors says.

Veterans and members of the military who wish to attend can RSVP to or 703-993-2709.

Also on Nov. 9, office staff will hand out custom shirts for basketball featuring the slogan, “Mason Vets for Nets” in the HOOPLA block party.

On Saturday, Nov. 10, the Patriot Center will host a Veterans Career Fair during the day followed by performances by rock bands Chicago and Kansas in the evening.

On Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 12, Veterans Moving Forward, a nonprofit organization that provides therapy and service dogs to veterans, will be at the Remembrance Wall with therapy dogs.

Also on Veterans Day, Mason is joining 180 other colleges and universities in a somber, all-day event called National Roll Call. In the Johnson Center, various Mason community members and organizations will read the names of the more than 6,000 soldiers who have died since Sept. 11, 2001.

“The commemoration is very important to those that have served or have been touched by the loss of a service member,” Connors says.

“Last year, we were nervous about how students in the Johnson Center were going to respond, but everyone was very respectful and attentive,” Emery says.

Finally, on Nov. 13, Military Services is collaborating with Career Services on a Veterans Resume Writing Workshop.

“We’ve worked really hard to collaborate with offices and departments across campus to bring awareness to our services and Veterans Day,” Connors says.

For more information, see the Mason Honors the Military page.

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