Story by JOSHUA GRAY
Photos by JOE GIDDENS
Veterans Day was Nov. 11.
Pima Community College celebrated a little bit earlier this year on Nov. 8 at the Downtown Campus.
This Veterans’ Day celebration was coordinated by Pima’s Veteran Group, who has planned this event for the past seven years.
“The celebration is to honor Pima Community College student veterans,” said Jorge Camarillo, student services coordinator for Pima’s Department of Military and Veteran Services.
Camarillo is one of the many people who helped make this event happen.
The Veterans Day celebration was a free event that was open to all. It invited different kinds of vendors to come out and support their local veterans while also getting a chance to promote. This year, each business was offered a chance to speak about itself.
The Veteran’s Day celebration included free food, music, a 30-minute ceremony that encompassed a speech from Pima’s Chancellor Lee Lambert and a cake cutting for the Marines’ 243rd birthday. Lambert was the guest speaker for this year’s celebration.
The 30-minute ceremony started off with a rendition of the national anthem sung by Rafael Acuña, a Pima music student with a primary in vocal performance.
“I have always wanted to sing the national anthem for an event like say such as this and it is a great honor for me to be able to do this for the veterans that are present and just for the people who are present at this event,” he said. “I am very honored.”
The event continued with a speech from Lambert, who is also a veteran of the U.S. Army.
“I am the product of a veteran,” Lambert said. “I’m from a family of three generations of Army, and I am proud to be a part of that.”
He then told a story of how his time in the U.S. Army led him to become a lawyer, because he was assigned to be a law clerk and then later to where he is today. Lambert ended his speech by saying:
“Thank you all for coming out, thank you for your commitment to Pima Community College and thank you to our veterans who we’re celebrating as part of this Veterans Day celebration. Thank you.”
“Veterans Day to me is honoring those who are currently serving in any branch of the military, as well as those who have served in the past,” said Jennifer Bach of the Downtown Campus Vet Center. “I think it (the Veterans Day Celebration) is a very good representation of veterans and it’s also that small community feeling.”