Pride of our Nation, Pride of Our College exhibit opens

Kerry Gneiting

Staff Writer

Hudson Valley is paying tribute to veterans, including the 400 enrolled here, with it’s fourth annual Pride of our Nation, Pride of Our College exhibit, which will be opened on Monday, Nov. 10.

The annual exhibit commemorates veterans who are family members or ancestors of college faculty, staff or students. Military memorabilia from some of veterans associated with Hudson Valley are on display in this annual exhibition organized by assistant professor of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences Alice Malavasic and the college’s Armed Forces Club.

The event started at the BTC Auditorium, which was half-full for the 4 p.m. keynote address. The opening remarks were delivered by Alice Malavasic. The keynote speaker was Dr. Nicholas Schlosser, an Orange County native and historian at the United States Marine Corps University in Quantico, Va.

Schlosser’s address focused on the first marines to fight in World War I, and more specifically on John James Callahan Jr, the first Marine from Troy to die in World War I. Callahan’s portrait is on display in the library.

Hudson Valley began in 1953 as a technical institute created with the mission of giving vocational training to returning veterans. The purpose of the college was later expanded, but the college’s roots remain the same.

Student John McCormick, president of the Armed Forces Club and veteran mentor, said the purpose of the display is to help “bring recognition for the veterans on campus.” McCormick, along with other members of the armed forces club, had helped to mail out fliers to the local community to gain support for the event. This year was the first year that the event was sponsored.

Schlosser offered some further insight to his work during the reception that followed the opening of the exhibit, saying, “If we had a mission statement it would be to record and write the history of the Marine Corps.” He added that it was a way to learn from the successes and mistakes from the past.

Shawn Sutton, a Marine Corps veteran, attended the event. Sutton’s Kevlar helmet is on display in one of the cases. He was deployed twice. Sutton graduated from Hudson Valley in spring 2014. He said, “We want to let the student body see that some of their peers have been around the world and seen some incredible things.”

Also attending the event was Carrie Farley, a Gold Star mom. Farley’s son Derek Farley was a member of the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team. SSG Farley was killed in action.

The government automatically sends the mothers of soldiers who die in service to their country a gold star pin. The women can then choose whether or not to join the American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.

Carrie Farley was dressed all in white. Gold Star mothers wear white to celebrate their children, as opposed to wearing black, which is more associated with mourning. Farley said of her son, “He believed in something, in my estimation he believed in this country and because of that we have the freedom that we have [today].”

The exhibit will remain open until Dec. 10.

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