The first real snowfall seems to have fallen early across the University of Virginia as there are snowflakes on the campus. The university chose to cancel some of the Veteran’s Day plans because students were going to feel triggered by hearing the 21-gun salute.
Gun violence is being used as the generic reason for canceling a portion of the annual Veterans Day ceremony. The university president, James Ryan, posted a Facebook statement to explain the reasons. There were concerns about firing weapons on school property since recent school shootings have taken place.
He explained that the event takes place near four academic buildings and wants to minimize disruptions to classes. He also says that there are concerns when it comes to firing weapons on the campus due to gun violence plaguing the nation.
Veteran and military supporters were outraged. One veteran said that he is disillusioned, upset, and surprised that the university would make such a decision.
The Daily Progress condemned the University and the decision in an editorial. They wrote that it, ironically, sends a message to students that they are too fragile and too delicate to deal with the “interruption” of the salute. The editorial goes on to say that the students are too focused on what’s happening in their lives to “comprehend and accept” such a long-standing practice.
Many people feel that the students should not be protected from reality. The 21-gun salute has happened for years, despite gun violence. It also continued to happen all across the country. Life happens outside of academia and students need to realize this.
The blowback was significant, causing the university president to re-think things. While it was too late to do anything about this year’s Veterans Day ceremony, the president has already promised to reintroduce the salute for next year.
The ROTC on campus works to honor veterans. They do so in a number of ways, including not only the 21-gun salute but also a presentation of colors with the American flag and having the national anthem sang. Veterans and military members from all over the state plan to attend the ceremony that takes place at the University because they make it into such a big deal.
It happens annually, and it happens around the country. It’s a sign of respect and a way to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country. According to Arlington National Cemetery, the 21-gun salute is the highest honor that can be rendered. It was something that was designated as the “presidential salute” in 1842, so it’s been a part of history for quite some time.
The US military uses the 21-gun salute in honor of a national flag. It is fired not only on Veteran’s Day but also on President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and the funeral of any president.
Veterans and military members don’t want to see the 21-gun salute go away. It’s been a part of history for over 100 years. Rather than catering to a handful of students who are “too delicate” to understand the historic significance, they need to be taught that there are going to be times when things happen that they don’t like. It’s not right to change standards and signs of respect because someone may feel triggered by something.
Students who have a problem with the 21-gun salute have to realize that it’s a part of American tradition. Just as there is an American flag, a pledge of allegiance, and a national anthem, there will be times when the ROTC or Color Guard decides to implement a 21-gun salute. It’s part of being an American. They can choose not to be at the event. They can even choose to leave campus during the time that it’s happening. However, they cannot say that it shouldn’t happen simply because they feel triggered.
The backlash that the president of the University experienced taught him a valuable lesson: don’t mess with tradition. Now, students will learn that they cannot be protected inside of a bubble. While they may be involved in academia, life goes on outside. Not all aspects of life are happy.
The editorial also reminds people that the gun salutes are all about peaceful intentions. The weapons are positioned in a way that they are ineffective.
The University of Virginia realized that they cannot protect overly sensitive students without disrespecting veterans. The veterans won. Now, overly sensitive students need to learn to get over it because they cannot simply make things go away that they do not like.