UM-Flint hosting Veterans Day Remembrance Ceremony, Nov. 10

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Four flags against a blue sky: the US flag, the Michigan flag, the POW MIA flag and the U-M flag
UM-Flint is hosting a Veterans Day Remembrance Ceremony, Nov. 10.

While members of the U.S. military make countless sacrifices in service to the country, a group of devoted University of Michigan-Flint staff members are working to ensure those sacrifices are honored. The UM-Flint Student Veterans Resource Center is hosting its 22nd annual Veterans Day Remembrance Ceremony, 9-11:30 a.m., Nov. 10, at the Harding Mott University Center. 

By designing the event to be free and open to all, Helen Budd, SVRC program manager, explains that it provides an opportunity for veterans and their families to see the "community of support" behind them. 


"Current and former military members, along with their families, have made it their work to uphold the values we hold most dear in this country – often at a great personal cost," Budd said. "This Veterans Day event offers a chance for everyone to come together in recognition of this dedication to service. We are here to acknowledge our veterans on campus and in the community, and we welcome everyone to take time out to celebrate them with us."

After a buffet breakfast, the ceremony will start with a presentation of colors and the national anthem, performed by Joseph Mier, a senior music performance major from Davison. Mier is one of many UM-Flint performers who will take part in the day as the UM-Flint Chorale and Chamber Singers will perform "My Country 'Tis of Thee" and songs of the U.S. armed forces will be performed by members of the UM-Flint Wind Symphony and brass and percussion ensembles. "Taps" will close the event's proceedings. 

Another student, Christopher Mayes, will be recognized as UM-Flint's student veteran of the year. A junior wildlife biology major from Davison and Marine Corps veteran, Mayes has earned this distinction thanks to his leadership in initiatives like Peer Advisors for Veteran Education, which launched on campus this fall. As a team leader, Mayes works with new student veterans to help them navigate college life, address their unique challenges, refer them to appropriate resources and provide ongoing support.

Thanks to programs like PAVE and the work of the SVRC, UM-Flint has long been recognized as a top institution for veteran education across the country. Earlier this year, the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency announced that the university has retained its Gold-level status as a veteran-friendly school for an eighth consecutive year. UM-Flint was also named a 2022 "Best for Vets" college by the Military Times in September. 

It was this commitment to veterans that attracted the event's keynote speaker to the university. Marty Mieras, a 2022 UM-Flint graduate with a master's degree in liberal studies in American culture and retired U.S. Army command sergeant major, now works as the military programs specialist with the U.S. Postal Service to support the organization's nearly 68,000 veteran employees. As a lifelong University of Michigan football fan, Mieras always aspired to attend U-M. Thanks to the SVRC, he found community and support in addition to a Maize & Blue degree. 

"What an amazing group of people," said Mieras. "They really made me feel like I was supposed to be here. It was almost like, 'what took you so long to walk through the door?'"  

Those service members who did not return home will be honored along with those in attendance. A prisoner of war and missing in action remembrance table will be set out during the breakfast and ceremony, overseen by Daniel Salazar, a senior operating engineer with UM-Flint Facilities & Operations. Salazar is a U.S. Air Force chief master sergeant, having returned from his most recent deployment to Japan just months ago. He has been involved with UM-Flint's Veterans Day programming for more than two decades. 

"I know from personal experience the sacrifices that military families make," Salazar said. "There have been times, after my return from a deployment, that my wife must leave on a deployment of her own. It is that much more important to recognize families who have made the ultimate sacrifice."

Those interested in attending the Veterans Day Remembrance Ceremony are asked to RSVP online by Nov. 1.

Logan McGrady is the marketing & digital communication manager for the Office of Marketing and Communication.