UVA cancelled the traditional 21 Gun Salute to veterans on Veterans Day this year because of “gun violence.” In a marvelous testimony to complete ignorance, the ROTC unit at the University of Virginia was told that the 21 Gun salute would be ‘disruptive,’ and ’cause panic.’
The backlash was immediate from alumni and veterans, so much so, that UVA said they’d “revisit” the issue for next year’s celebration. But this year, UVA cancelled it,
The ROTC unit at UVA has been honoring veterans with the salute on the holiday for a decade with no issues whatsoever. Now all of a sudden, they were forced to stop.
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“I am very disillusioned, very upset, and very surprised that they would make such a decision… Freedom isn’t free. There’s a cost and that cost is born by the veterans and the families of those veterans.” Jay Levine, UVA graduate and US Military Veteran
The Provost’s office, in conjunction with the colonel of UVA’s ROTC program, made the decision. The ceremony marks the conclusion of a 24-hour vigil by ROTC cadets and has included the 21-gun salute for more than a decade.
“One is that it would be disruptive to classes and two, unfortunately with gun violence in the U.S., there was some concern that we would cause a panic if someone heard gunshots on grounds,” said UVA President Jim Ryan.
UVA President Jim Ryan put out a long post on Facebook which reads in part:
That said, while Col. Hough and many members of our ROTC community supported the change this year, community responses have helped us to understand that many see the 21-gun salute as an important element of the Veterans Day ceremony at the University of Virginia. Given that the plans are already in place for this year, we will follow the event organizers’ recommendation to proceed without the 21-gun salute in our Veterans Day Ceremony. Following this year’s ceremony, however, we will work with our ROTC officers and cadets to take a closer look at options for our Veterans Day events, including those that would enable us to re-introduce the 21-gun salute to the program.
If Mr. Ryan thinks a military 21 gun salute is part of gun violence, he is sadly mistaken, and needs to get a grip on reality.
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