This year Election Day and Veterans Day fall within days of each other, bookending the week with powerful imagery that each day offers independently but which links them inextricably together. On November 8, even in the midst of a divisive and toxic political environment, Election Day reassured us—everyday Americans that we are—that we have the power to define or redefine our government…with ballots instead of bullets. November 11, Veterans Day, reminds us that this democratic franchise—the right to vote—is not a luxury to be taken for granted. It is a privilege protected by the men and women in our Armed Forces.
Our college—indeed most community colleges—are committed to repaying the gift of freedom guaranteed to us by the nation’s veterans by offering the best support we can give to them when they return to us as students. In that new role, they sometimes find returning to college harder than they—or we—might wish. These veterans often need more than just a few hours of academic tutoring or membership in a campus Veterans Club to thrive in an often unfamiliar environment. Along with many other community colleges, CCBC is proud to have received once again this year the designation of “Military Friendly institution” from Military Times Magazine. We do the best we can to recruit and support veterans, military personnel, and military family members and have raised that effort to a strategic enrollment priority. We are also participating heavily in the recently launched VRRAP initiative, the Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program, designed to assist veterans to enroll in and earn short term credentials.
On November 11, it may seem a small gesture to pause for a short while to pay homage to the veterans at our 1,000 community colleges with a campus flag raising ceremony or to commemorate the day with a Fallen Soldier exhibit or military display. Small gestures take on great significance in moments like these. You have only to watch the nightly news coverage of the war in the Ukraine (mortar shells screaming; bombs exploding; graves newly dug) to realize how precious is the right to vote…and to whom we must extend our thanks.
Please enjoy our Veteran’s Day Video.