Purdue University honors Vietnam veterans for Memorial Day Service this year

Purdue University hosted it's 4th annual Memorial Day Service at Purdue Memorial Union Friday afternoon. This year the event focused on honoring Vietnam Veterans.

Posted: May 24, 2019 7:57 PM
Updated: May 24, 2019 9:01 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Purdue University hosted it's 4th annual Memorial Day Service at Purdue Memorial Union Friday afternoon.

This year the event focused on honoring Vietnam Veterans.

They displayed a photo collage of all the veterans who've once walked the halls of Purdue.

The ceremony included decommissioning an American flag. The flag they cut apart was once flown over Purdue.

Event coordinators explained their process of cutting each piece of the flag.

Purdue's Director of Veterans Success Jamie Richards said it’s like a physical representation of the lives they came to honor.

“When you decommission it, when you take that flag down, you're putting a new flag up or you're turning that over and you're taking that flag that served for that and you're thanking it," said Richards. "You're officially really thanking it for its time of service and for it serving as a representation of our nation."

For attendees, it was an impactful event.

“Very emotional, you can see people in the audience were very affected by it, myself as well just because you think about all of the people who have been lost,” said Austin Fortiner, member of Purdue’s veteran student organization.

“I hope I remember these things more often than I do and that others do as well,” said Chelsea Harris, assistant director of recreation at Purdue Memorial Union.

“You think of everybody that was lost so, it's really neat,” said Dave Burford.

This year was the first time the memorial has done a photo collage of former Purdue veterans. They plan to find new ways to honor the vets every year. 

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