President Johnson leads ceremony honoring Ohio State veterans
Annual Rock Ceremony continues for more than a century
Ohio State University President Kristina M. Johnson joined members of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, university leaders and local veterans today to honor Ohio State alumni who sacrificed their lives in the service of their country.
Johnson presided over the annual Rock Ceremony at Bricker Hall. The ceremony includes an address to the corps, a 21-gun salute, the playing of “Taps” and the laying of a wreath at the memorial rock outside Bricker Hall to mark the occasion.
“We’ve gathered to recognize the solemn sacrifice more than 900 of our fellow Buckeyes have made in service to our country and the contributions of many thousands more who have served and who are serving close to home and all over the world,” Johnson said. “As many of you know, the roots of the Rock Ceremony date back to the first Armistice Day in 1919, one year after the Western Front finally fell silent.
“More than two years prior, Americans steeled themselves for entrance to the Great War. And in Columbus, Ohio State’s Board of Trustees passed a resolution assuring the president of the United States of our university’s unswerving faith in the integrity of this task and the righteousness of this stand.”
Johnson was joined by Lt. Gen. (ret.) Charles E. Stenner Jr., who has served as chief of Air Force Reserve and commander of Air Force Reserve Command, responsible for all U.S. Air Force Reserve units around the world.
“As past generations have done, present and future generations must keep the memories, and whatever spirit is necessary, to keep the fire burning, to keep the drive and the determination to keep freedom, fairness and equality for all alive,” Stenner said. “It is my firm belief that it is our solemn duty to keep the memories of these sacrifices. It remains a fundamental precept that we need to honor and remember all those warriors and all the armed services who have fought and died for their country. They gave their all for the nation.”
Ohio State serves more than 2,100 military-connected students, and about 1,400 faculty and staff are veterans. The university continues to rank among the top colleges serving veterans.
Johnson said it is important to maintain that standard.
“I want to reiterate the commitment to all of our cadets and midshipmen, our service members and veterans and loved ones who are here today and throughout our university family,” Johnson said. “You have always had our hearts and we share the characteristics defined by those Buckeyes in the earliest days, our commitment to excellence, our strength of character, our dedication to serving our communities as thoughtful, engaged citizens.”
Ohio State will observe Veterans Day on Nov. 11. There will be no classes and offices will be closed.