Murray State University has always looked to recognize the soldiers who have helped to protect this country abroad, and this year the university is honoring veterans both in the student body and the community during the weekend of the Racers football game again conference rival Austin Peay.

On Veteran’s Day, Friday, Nov. 11, a ceremony will begin the weekend at 1 p.m. on the front steps of Lovett Auditorium on the MSU campus. Josh Jacobs, chief of staff in the president’s office, will lead with a statement of remembrance and recognition, followed by a presentation of flags from the MSU ROTC and the national anthem performed by the MSU Symphonic Wind Ensemble brass section.

From 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m., a reception sponsored by the office of the president and Veteran Affairs will take place to officially inaugurate the opening of the Veterans Student Lounge, located in Alexander Hall, Room 300. Refreshments will be served.

“In my role as the Veterans Affairs liaison for the university, there is no greater honor for me than to work with and assist those veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country,” said Alison Marshall. “As the daughter of an army officer who served during the Vietnam conflict, I learned at an early age what it means to serve this country and more importantly, to understand the sacrifices that are made by both the soldiers and their families.” Also on Friday, at 4:15 p.m., the city of Murray and local veteran organizations will celebrate with a parade that will begin at 10th and Main streets and continue to the court square for the ceremony and salute.

On Saturday, Nov. 12, labeled “Protect and Serve Day,” there will be a tailgating party starting at 11 a.m. behind Stewart Stadium on the practice field prior to the big game. There will be free hamburgers, hot dogs and more for all veteran students and families.

At 1 p.m., MSU will go up against Austin Peay State University in an OVC football rivalry, where a special pregame and halftime ceremony, sponsored by the MSU athletics department, will recognize those who protect and serve communities and the way of life in the United States. A representative of the Veterans Student Organization, alongside members of the local police and fire departments, will be honored during these ceremonies.

“The events we have scheduled for Veterans Day, 11-11-11, were designed as a way to show our appreciation to our veteran students, as well as faculty and staff who are also veterans,” Marshall noted. “The opening program at 1 p.m. will be a special tribute to our veterans, to the fallen and to their families. Also, we hope that everyone will join us from 1:30-3 p.m. on Friday at the new Veterans Student Lounge in Alexander Hall for the reception. This will be a great time for all to mingle with some of our veteran students and express their support.”

For more information on Veteran Affairs and upcoming events, email Alison Marshall at amarshall@murraystate.edu.

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