The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks was honored to host Veterans of The Global War on Terrorism and other distinguished guests for a luncheon on April 24, 2019.
The luncheon was held in conjunction with the dedication of the new Global War on Terrorism Memorial at Patriots Park, at the entrance to the College of the Ozarks campus.
Guests enjoyed a delicious meal prepared and served by College of Ozarks. Josh Johnson of Blue Springs, Missouri, and Gavin Moore of Ozark, Missouri, student servers, shared their thoughts on the dedication of the memorial: “The Memorial is a tangible way to show appreciation for our Veterans ‘instead of just saying it,’” says Johnson, a nursing major.
“It shows that we actually mean ‘Thank you for your service’ by the dedication of this Memorial.”
For Moore, a business administration major, it’s especially important to honor those who have served in the War on Terrorism because, while other wars are in the past, the present conflict “is still going on.”
Designed by a local artist from Nixa, Missouri, the Memorial features two bronze statues depicting a service member and his dog kneeling before a Battlefield Cross, which symbolizes service members killed in action. Stained glass seals representing each of the U.S. military branches were created by College of the Ozarks students and appear on a wall behind the statues.
The Global War on Terrorism Memorial, along with the other installations at Patriots Park, represent the Patriotic Education goal of College of the Ozarks.
Patriots Park also includes The Korean War Memorial, The Missouri Gold Star Families Memorial, The Missouri Vietnam Veterans Memorial, The Alumni Veterans Memorial, Lest We Forget 9/11 Memorial, and Veterans Grove.
Both Moore and Johnson say that people can expect to feel a sense of humility when they visit the Memorial.
“It gives a clear visual that these people are real and laid down their lives for a greater cause,” says Moore.