'We cherish this day:" ETSU pauses to honor veterans

Jessica Fuller • Updated Nov 11, 2017 at 12:00 AM

From the audience, Marine Corps veteran Ray Fogg looked on as his son gave remarks at East Tennessee State University’s Veterans Day ceremony Friday morning.

His son, Rodney Fogg, went on to enlist in the U.S. Army through ETSU’s Reserve Officer Training Corps program. Now a brigadier general, Rodney Fogg is the 54th quartermaster general commandant for the U.S. Army Quartermaster School, and Friday he took the opportunity to speak to the importance of the holiday at the university’s annual ceremony.

“We cherish this day because of what it means. At its core Veterans Day reminds us that there is a greater purpose, some ideas, some greater causes worth sacrificing for or even dying for if required,” he said during his remarks. “Our veterans serve this greater purpose, this greater idea of freedom in our nation.”

Despite being in the hospital the day before, Ray Fogg sat alongside his wife and other family members to watch the ceremony. The University School chorus and the ETSU Marching Bucs performed music for the occasion, and members of the ETSU ROTC presented a wreath at the campus veterans memorial.

“I just had to be here, I couldn’t miss it,” he said.

Members of Rolling Thunder stood amongst the attendants of the ceremony, alongside dozens of other community members taking the time to honor veterans.

The general and other speakers emphasized the importance of the holiday as more than just a long weekend, or extra time off work.

“We are here today to talk about those that make freedom possible — our veterans,” Fogg said. “Active, reserve, National Guard, serving in Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria right now, and all those that have ever served.”


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