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Honor Our Veterans - Events at RCC

Honor Our Veterans - Events at RCC

2014 Veterans Day Events


DATE: October 30, 2014

CONTACT: Maralin Roffino





Honor Our Veterans - Events at RCC
free and open to the public


Ramapo, NY—Veterans Day events at Rockland Community College include a service on Thursday, November 13, a small reception, and an exhibit of shadowbox art created by veterans. Also on display will be 680 American flags on the hill in front of the Technology Center, with each flag representing 10 casualties of the Global War on Terrorism, including the Iraq -Afghanistan Wars. The flags will be installed on Friday, November 7, and will remain on display through November 28.

A small number of additional flags are available to commemorate a veteran of your designation for a $5 donation to the RCC Veterans Support Fund. Please contact the Coordinator of Veterans Affairs, Jonathan Barnwell to make arrangements or for questions about these programs:

Veterans Day Events 2014

Saturday, November 8
Flag Planting
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Technology Center – front lawn

Thursday, November 13
Service and Veterans Shadowbox Art Exhibit and Reception
11:00 am
Technology Center - Ellipse

Rockland Community College has been named a “Military Friendly School,” and student veterans have a very active and supportive community at the College, with special services and events on and off campus. Earlier this month, 15 high achieving RCC student veterans were inducted into SALUTE, the national academic honor society for veterans, at a special ceremony and dinner at the Pearl River Hilton. The keynote speaker was Colonel Francis L. Donovan, and other guests included Congresswoman Nita Lowey, and County Legislator John Murphy.

On October 21, the Rockland County Legislature honored two RCC student veterans. Dennis Pichardo (Sergeant USMC Ret./Active National Guard), was recognized with a Distinguished Service Award for his successful graduation from service dog training. He will now be able to train service dogs to help other vets, like his service dog, Savannah, does for him. Another RCC student veteran, Michael Smith (E-5 USMC Ret.), led the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer prior to the Legislative Session. Jonathan Barnwell, the Coordinator of Veterans Affairs at RCC, was also recognized with a Distinguished Service Award for his work on behalf of the student veterans at the College.

Smith and Pichardo both live at Homes for Heroes in Tappan, where RCC student veterans and Habitat for Humanity club members have been helping to renovate and build garden-style apartment homes for veterans. The development is situated on the remaining 14 acres of Camp Shanks, the WW II military base which housed more than 1.3 million GIs as their final destination before being shipped out to fight during the war.

This year, RCC’s focus for Veterans Day is honoring the US veterans and civilian casualties of the Global War on Terrorism and the Iraq-Afghanistan Wars. In observation of the federal holiday, no classes are held at RCC on the actual date of Veterans Day, (November 11).

Originally called “Armistice Day,” (since this was the date of the armistice that ended WW I), November 11 was first defined by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919 as the date to honor all WW I veterans and it became a federal holiday by Congressional Act in 1938. After WW II, the honor was extended to include all US veterans with a bill signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in May 1954. Congress later amended the bill to change the name of the holiday to “Veterans Day.”


Photo 1 caption (l-r) Col. Francis L. Donovan, USMC, keynote speaker at the 2014 SALUTE Honor Society Inductees Ceremony, Legislator John Murphy, and USMC Local Recruiter, Staff Sergeant Misker G. Derseh.

Photo 2 caption: (l-r) Dennis Pichardo (Sergeant USMC Ret./Active National Guard); Homes For Heroes President, Legislator John Murphy; Savannah (Service Dog); Jonathan Barnwell, RCC's Veterans Affairs Coordinator; Dr. Cliff L. Wood, President of RCC; and Michael Smith (E-5 USMC Ret.)

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