18:16 PM

Ohio State celebrates veterans with campus flag replacement event

The Ohio State University has established a new tradition to annually refresh American flags across the Columbus campus.

Ohio State started a weeklong celebration of military students and families on Tuesday with the inaugural Campus Flag Event at Remembrance Park. Teams of cadets, midshipmen and student veterans marched with military precision to replace new flags on every flagpole on campus.

President Michael V. Drake, Congressman Steve Stivers and Ohio National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Mark Bartman spoke at a ceremony to kick off the event. They spoke about the important role of veterans at Ohio State.

“We are at our strongest as a university, and as a country, when we uplift one another in support of our most cherished freedoms and ideals,” Drake said. “Our service members make extraordinary sacrifices on our behalf and they inspire us each and every day. That is why it is a privilege to commend their courage, their conviction and their legacy.”

Old flags at buildings throughout campus were lowered and new ones were raised. The Major Lawrence Miller Veterans and Military Support Fund provided the flags.

“The replacement of the old flags with new flags is symbolic of Ohio State’s unwavering commitment in support of all military members past and present and their continued contribution to the university, our community and this great nation,” said Air Force ROTC Col. Kevin Cullen, who hosted the ceremony.

President Michael V. Drake
We are at our strongest as a university, and as a country, when we uplift one another in support of our most cherished freedoms and ideals
President Michael V. Drake

Ohio State is home to more than 1,800 veterans, dependents, active duty, reserves and National Guard members currently enrolled as undergraduate and graduate students. There are more than 1,400 current faculty and staff veterans, and over 400 Air Force, Army and Navy ROTC program participants on campus.

Stivers, an Ohio State graduate and a brigadier general in the Ohio National Guard, noted the university rates as one of the friendliest universities for veterans.

“I think this ceremony is a fitting tribute to our military veterans all around the world,” Stivers said. “As we enter Veterans Day week, I think it’s great we are doing this. It shows the kind of renewal and commitment to our veterans that this community has, that this university has and that all of you have.”

Bartman, a 1982 graduate of Ohio State, is responsible for the command of more than 16,000 personnel in the Ohio Army National Guard, Ohio Air National Guard, Ohio Military Reserve and Ohio Naval Militia. He said the flag is an enduring symbol for all who serve and for those who give their lives to that service.

“So let’s remember the flag does not always represent perfection. It represents freedom, hope and opportunity,” Bartman said.