Giving Thanks

By Nicholas Lapinig '23, November 30, 2022

Ithaca College honors Veterans Day with musical performances and speeches

On Thursday, November 10, Ithaca College honored those in the community who have served in the U.S Armed Forces with its annual Veterans Day Celebration event held in Ford Hall at the Whalen Center for Music. 

The event’s purpose is to acknowledge the effort, sacrifice, and dedication of those who fought for America and to ruminate on the continuing efforts by current service members heading into the future.

“Without our soldiers, our veterans, and those we lost we would not be able to enjoy the freedoms we have in America,” said Karina Krauss, a staff member at Ithaca College and member of the planning committee for the event. 

The afternoon featured performances and remarks that encompassed not just the IC campus, but the wider community as well.

Students in the Ithaca College and Cornell University Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program took part in the ceremony with a presentation of colors by the ROTC Tri-Service Color Guard.

Faculty and students in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance also took part. Assistant Professor of Music Performance Hana Cai led the Treble Chorale in performances of the national anthem as well as “Invitation to Love.” Louis Mechaca ’23 conducted the Ithaca College Trombone Troupe in its performances of “America the Beautiful” and “The Liberty Bell.” Michael Stern ’18, MS ’22, performed a solo of “Taps.” 

“Without our soldiers, our veterans, and those we lost we would not be able to enjoy the freedoms we have in America.”

Karina Krauss, member of IC's Veterans Day Celebration Committee

The master of ceremonies was Art Ostrander, who served as dean of the School of Music from 1985 until 2008 and is also a veteran, having served as an operations officer for the 7th Transceiver Detachment of the 7th Army in Zweibrucken, Germany, from 1964 to 1966. Ostrander remarked on how meaningful it was to share the space with everyone: veterans, students, and local community members. 

U.S. Army Major Ari A. Cohen, PhD, gave the keynote address. A 1998 School of Business graduate, Cohen entered the Army in 2005, graduating from Officer Candidate School the following year. His first operational tour was with the 2nd Infantry Division in the Republic of Korea. Over the next few years, Cohen would be deployed to Iraq and Bangladesh among other areas of national interest. He transitioned to work in Civil Affairs and currently works in the Pentagon as part of the Army Talent Management Task Force. 

Cohen spoke heartily on his time at Ithaca College, emphasizing that it consisted of “four wonderful years.” He also praised the Business School and college for giving him the skills needed to go into the future, not just in the classroom, but as a thinker. He remarked on the lessons he learned as critical to his Army career where he “spends a lot of time leading others, and planning ahead.”