SIU, the City of Carbondale and VFW Post 2605 held a joint Veterans Day ceremony Friday at the Veterans Memorial Plaza in Carbondale.
Aidan Sanders - a 6th grader at Unity Point School - led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry read the Veteran's Day proclamation.
"Therefore, I, John M. Henry, Mayor of the City of Carbondale, Illinois, do hereby proclaim Saturday, November 11th, 2017, as Veteran's Day in the City of Carbondale, Illinois and urge all our citizens to respectfully and appropriately recognize the occasion."
SIU System President Randy Dunn delivered some introductory remarks. He said there are so many young veterans coming home that SIU and the area as a whole should welcome them.
"We want them here to help rebuild our university. So, your help, your support in bringing them back, providing a welcome place for them to build their lives and careers after their service to country is also appreciated."
SIU-Carbondale's Veterans Center works to help make the transition of Veterans from the military to SIU Carbondale a seamless process. The university is often recognized as military friendly.
SIU-Carbondale Chancellor Carlo Montemagno served as the guest speaker. He said we should thank veterans for the freedoms that make us who we are.
"These freedoms are the freedom of religion, the freedom to protest, the freedom to be able to describe and put in words things that are unpopular. There's the freedom that allows us to chart our paths to live and work in a free society."
Montemagno joined the U.S. Navy in 1980 and served several as a civil engineering corps officer with the U.S. Department of Energy.