SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Veterans Day has arrived in Syracuse, and the city is showing its support through special events and demonstrations. Syracuse University held a Veterans Day event featuring speakers from the OVMA and the student body, as well as some special performances from the Syracuse University Singers. The OnCenter War Memorial also held a special event to recognize the service and accomplishments of various veterans in the Syracuse area.
These events were a success for families of veterans and active-duty members of all branches, reminding people of the sacrifices people have made to serve the country.
“It’s a time of sympathy for families who have lost servicemen… service for this country,” said Mel Rubenstein, a retired Army Armor Officer.
“It’s a special day in our country to honor those, less than half of one percent that currently serve, and six percent that have totally served,” said Navy Rear Admiral John Okon.
In the week leading up to the services, several buildings in the downtown area and on Syracuse University’s campus showed their support for veterans by participating in Operation Green Light.
Operation Green Light encourages families and households of veterans and active-duty members to replace a light on the outside of the house or building with a green light, showing their support and affiliation with all branches of the military. It was primarily started to show support for those involved in conflicts with Afghanistan and Iraq, and has since been extended to all veterans on the national holiday.
County Executive Ryan McMahon announced the start of this participation at the beginning of November, declaring that the Everson Art Museum, the Courthouse, the Carnegie building and the War Memorial will be lit up green from Nov. 5 to 13. On the campus of Syracuse University, the JMA Dome, Hendricks Chapel and Hall of Languages will also participate and light up green lights to show support.
This outward demonstration of support has been very encouraging to veterans across the country, as the green lights are an encouragement to all serving that they are seen and are appreciated.
“It fits really nice, and it’s really inspiring as I drove up from Washington DC last night to see the dome lit up in all green,” Okon said.
With SU’s history of assisting veterans in education and healthcare after World War II, it was nice to see the city and campus show their outward support to the armed forces across the globe. Operation Green Light will continue to stay present in Syracuse, as the city encourages residents to keep that green light in their house year-round.