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President Johnson honors Ohio State veterans at 2022 Rock Ceremony

Annual observance marks the sacrifice of more than 900 Buckeyes

At the annual Rock Ceremony Wednesday, The Ohio State University paid respect to Buckeye alumni who served and sacrificed as members of the armed forces.

Army veteran and PhD student Eric Sowers joins Brig. Gen. David L. Odom and President Kristina M. Johnson at the annual Rock CeremonyPresident Kristina M. Johnson joined ROTC members and university leaders for the ceremony at Bricker Hall, the location of the memorial rock. The ceremony includes an address to the corps, a 21-gun salute, the playing of “Taps” and the laying of a wreath at the rock. It’s a tradition that first began in 1919 when “Taps” was sounded each Wednesday morning to honor those who had lost their lives in World War I.

“Ohio State was founded with a mission to improve the well-being of our communities through education, research and service. And as we strive to be the absolute model of the 21st century land-grant university, service to the citizens of Ohio, the nation and the world will continue to be a primary strategic focus,” Johnson said. “Our mission to serve as Buckeyes was embedded in the university’s founding. And I’m extremely proud that our ROTC program has been an essential part of fulfilling the mission throughout our history and will continue to do so in the future.”

U.S. Marine Corp. Brig. Gen. David L. Odom, deputy director for current and integrated operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the ceremony serves as a reminder to say thank you to those who have served.

“It reminds all of us of selfless service and the sacrifices then and now, necessary to protect our freedom and our way of life. In remembering them, they stay alive and inspire us to live better, more meaningful and impactful lives,” he said. “Today, as has been done on this beautiful campus for over a century, in this hallowed place, at this rock, we reflect on those sons and daughters of this state and this university. In doing so, we continue our duty to remember and never forget.”

Ohio State serves more than 2,100 military-connected students, and about 1,600 faculty and staff are veterans. The university continues to rank among the top colleges serving veterans.

The university was recently awarded the Collegiate Purple Star. The program recognizes public and independent colleges and universities in Ohio that are supportive and inclusive of military-connected students.

Ohio State will observe Veterans Day on Nov. 11. There will be no classes and offices will be closed.

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