Veterans Society holds Sunken Garden vigil
March 21, 2008
Tuesday evening, gathered about the steps of the Sunken Gardens, the William and Mary Veterans Society hosted the second annual Moment of Remembrance in honor of soldiers.
p. “It’s an opportunity to remember and recognize those who have served, both deceased and alive,” president of the Veterans Society Lance Zaal ’09 said. He founded the organization along with several others.
p. Zaal served in Iraq from March 2004 to October 2004 and again from November 2005 to May 2006, before coming to the College in the summer of 2006. He explained that the Veterans Society invites students, not just veterans, and those with stories of service to participate in the annual event.
p. English Professor John Miller spoke of the College’s part in the wars of the nation, from its placement in the midst of both the American Revolution and Civil War to the 2,500 students, faculty and staff who mobilized during World War II.
p. “Their stories are not usually heard, their names are not on these buildings, but their contributions are nonetheless remarkable,” Miller said of College veterans.
Jennifer Honeycutt J.D. ’08 and Kristina Surface ’09 fought back tears as they shared the stories of loved ones killed in action.
p. Honeycutt spoke of her fiance, Jeff Webb of the Marine Corps, who was killed in Iraq. Webb, described by Honeycutt as “the best person she ever met,” joined the Marines because of the unfairness he felt of living in a country where freedoms were taken for granted.
p. After Honeycutt’s testimonial, Danny Morris’s story followed.
“Most were skeptical when Danny told us he wanted to join the Marine Corps,” Surface said. “He was a very small guy, but what he told our band director, when he asked if he was sure, was simply, ‘If I get deployed to Iraq, then somebody’s daddy can come home.’”
p. After hearing of his death in Iraq on Valentine’s Day 2007, Surface was struck by the reactions of the many she told, as they brought politics into what, for her, was a personal tragedy of the loss of her 19-year-old friend.
p. Interim College President Taylor Reveley was the final speaker of the evening. He discussed the honor that comes with the choice to serve in the armed forces.
p. “The willingness of some to engage in genuinely sacrificial service is truly crucial to our survival as a nation and its continued success,” Reveley said. “We are enormously grateful for those of you who have served and are serving. And we will not forget those who did not come back.”