Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Veterans memorial honors US soldiers at Walk of Champions

Soldiers who have put their lives on the line for their country are honored each year on Veterans Day as civilians take time to recognize and remember their sacrifice and service.

Monday night, the Student Government Association, Campus Veterans Association and Delta Kappa Epsilon hosted a Veterans Day memorial service for the men and women of the nation’s military at the Walk of Champions.

Army Staff Sgt. Julian Alvarez, vice president of CVA, said the memorial is a way for the organization to honor and celebrate veterans.

“It gives us, as a veterans group, a chance to get together and celebrate things that we’ve done and let the community know that we still care,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez said having the memorial at the Walk of Champions was symbolic because it’s the heart of the campus. He said the Walk of Champions is a place that shows the hard work and dedication of the football players, so it’s fitting to hold the memorial to the sacrifice of soldiers in the same spot.

“Doing it at the stadium puts the two together, and the Walk of Champions is a way to say heroes don’t just play football,” Alvarez said. “Some of them made the ultimate sacrifice so we have the freedoms to go to school, to have a great football team and win our 16th national championship.”

The service was dedicated to all veterans, especially those from Alabama, who have lost their lives in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, honoring 197 fallen veterans, whose names were read aloud.

Mark Forester, a 2006 University of Alabama graduate and a senior airman with the U.S. Air Force, was acknowledged as one of the fallen veterans. Thad Forester, his brother, spoke about Mark’s love for his country and the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Mark was killed in action on Sept. 29, 2010 in Afghanistan. He was scheduled to return home to Haleyville, Ala., in a few weeks and was upset he would miss most of the UA football season. Thad said Mark had an American flag wrapped around his body armor, and a bullet grazed the flag when he was killed.

David Blair, the University’s director of Veteran and Military Affairs, concluded the ceremony urging students not to take for granted the freedoms for which veterans have fought. He said the memorial was held to celebrate the five branches of the military – Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and National Guard – and to honor those who serve the United States.

“You enjoy these freedoms because of those individuals,” Blair said. “Never, ever take that for granted.”

All proceeds from the event and any donated funds will go toward two scholarships: one for student veterans and the other for dependents of fallen veterans.

Blair said in honor of Veterans Week, the CVA will host different events each day such as bowling; Battle of the Branches, a special event at the basketball game against Texas A&M and a cleanup at Holt Cemetery. For more information on the events, visit

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