Photo by Jeff Montgomery
The American Studies Institute (ASI) held its annual Veteran’s Day breakfast on Nov. 11 in Cone Chapel to honor veterans in the Harding community.
Dr. John Richard Duke, director of ASI, said the breakfast included a little program and focused on showing gratitude to those who have served.
“What we try to do with the Veteran’s Day breakfast every year is just honor people who served,” Duke said. “We essentially just want to say thank you for your service, and so we have a little program, and we just try to do exactly that.”
Duke said this event is important for a variety of reasons, and those reasons differ for different people, but the importance always centers around gratitude for service.
“And for some people, it’s a personal story that makes it important,” Duke said. “For others, it might be just some sort of broader understanding of why it’s important. And so I think there is a thing for every individual. It might be different as to what makes it important, but I think really just what’s important to do is to just make sure that people understand that we’re thankful for their service and that we honor and respect that.”
Duke said honoring those who have served is a part of ASI and the institute’s history.
“An important part of the American Studies Institute for a long time is honoring veterans, and so we just continue that tradition, continue to show that importance,” Duke said. “So I think that it’s something we’ve all done for a long time, and we think it’s important to continue to do so.”
Sophomore Elizabeth Fisher, U.S. Army Cadet, had attended the breakfast before with her family, but this year was her first time attending as an active service member with the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. Fisher said the speakers for the breakfast are always good and that students get the opportunity to serve the veterans breakfast.
“It’s very encouraging to go as someone beginning their time in the military to watch the veterans share stories and build each other up,” Fisher said. “It’s important to support the veteran community as a group [that] often goes underserved and in need.”
Another event that was held for veterans in the Searcy community was the sixth annual “Salute Our Vets” car show on Nov. 12. The event was sponsored by Gregg Orr Toyota, and proceeds went toward Feed the Vets, a food bank in Cabot, Arkansas.
“This is a great event to support our local veterans,” a Facebook post from Orr Toyota said.
Awards were given for Best of Show, Veterans’ Choice, Participants’ Choice, Orr Toyota’s Choice and Farthest Distance Traveled.