BSU says no to 21-gun salute to veterans
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  1. #1

    Question BSU says no to 21-gun salute to veterans

    BSU says no to 21-gun salute to veterans
    Citing campus shootings in other states, the university says gunshots could frighten people.

    By Anne Wallace Allen - aallen@idahostatesman.com
    Edition Date: 11/08/07

    Boise State University has turned down a request from veterans for a 21-gun salute on campus Monday to mark Veterans Day, saying it might scare bystanders still spooked by school shootings in other states.

    R.K. Williams, a Vietnam War veteran and longtime Boise State employee who runs the campus veterans services office, said he asked university officials for permission to hold the salute at noon, but they turned him down — twice. The salute would consist of seven shooters firing blanks in three volleys as part of a flag ceremony in the Quad at the center of campus.

    Six students and alumni of Boise State have died in the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the university's communications office.

    But "having a 21-gun salute in today's environment in the middle of classes didn't seem to be an appropriate way to celebrate" Veterans Day, BSU spokesman Frank Zang said. He cited a student shooting rampage at Virginia Tech University last April that killed 33, including the gunman, and said students and staff might not realize gunshots are part of a ceremony and are safe.

    "Gunfire on campus in the middle of the day would not be prudent or appropriate for safety and security," Zang said.

    Williams' office helps veterans figure out how to use their benefits to pay for college. He decided to use this year's holiday to replace a missing MIA/POW flag and thought it would be a perfect time for the salute. Boise State has students, faculty and staff who are veterans of conflicts in Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq, he said.

    He disagrees with the reasoning behind the university's decision.

    "It'll be over so fast. By the time the third volley goes off, you will go, ‘It was over there, and I'm over here,' " he said.

    "And I can't even begin to tell you how many are coming back injured," Williams said. "It was just a way to show some respect, some love … to honor them for serving their country.

    "You go fight, and you come back. They care about you for a little while, and then you're just like set aside until something else happens," he said.

    A 21-gun salute was part of the funeral for Alan B. Rowe, a Boise State graduate who was killed in Iraq in 2004, said his widow, Dawn Rowe.

    "For me personally, it's a time of reflection and, I suppose, solace," Rowe said.

    She said she would support a salute at Boise State.

    "It sounds like a very honorable way to pay tribute to those students," she said. "I just think that's a sad statement to make on behalf of Boise State that they can't have a traditional ceremonial event that honors veterans and students. I don't think our society should be ruled by fear."

    Soldier Doug Price, a student at Boise State who plans to go into nursing, said bystanders wouldn't be alarmed.

    "That makes no sense, because an event like this is very widely advertised and promoted way before it happens," said Price, who has completed two tours in Iraq and hopes to go back again. Other schools, including Utah State University, plan 21-gun salutes for their Veterans Day observations. Boise State has never had one, administrators said.

    The university plans several other activities, including a flag-raising ceremony on the campus Quad with a bugler, the national anthem and an armored Humvee, said Stacy Pearson, Boise State's vice president for finance and administration. Administrators said the schedule also includes a speech by Brig. Gen. Alan Gayhart, deputy commanding general of the Idaho National Guard, and other events.

    As for the 21-gun salute, Pearson said, "This request was discussed by university leadership, and we determined that, since classes are in session that day, the sound of gunshots during class time could be alarming to faculty, staff and students."

    Pearson said the university has recently engaged in emergency response training with Boise police.

    Anne Wallace Allen: 377-6433

    Ellie

    IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY LATE HUSBAND, SSgt Roger A. Alfano, USMC
    ONE PROUD MARINE
    1961-1977
    Vietnam 1968/69
    Once a Marine...Always a Marine

    https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1204617174

  2. #2
    Marine Free Member jrhd97's Avatar
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    Another spineless institution of lower education


  3. #3
    How can we help? Does someone have an e-mail we could flood?


  4. #4

    I don't

    I don't think he should have asked.He should have just done what is standard practice at Veterans Day service.


  5. #5
    Marine Free Member FistFu68's Avatar
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    WHY ALL THEM POTATO FARMERS,GOT GUN RACK'S;WITH GUN'S IN THEM PICKUP'S THERE AT BOISE STATE???


  6. #6
    Safety and Security??

    Sounds like too lazy to inform the community......

    Very Sad!


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by thedrifter
    But "having a 21-gun salute in today's environment in the middle of classes didn't seem to be an appropriate way to celebrate"
    Lame

    Quote Originally Posted by thedrifter
    "Gunfire on campus in the middle of the day would not be prudent or appropriate for safety and security," Zang said.
    Even more lame


    Quote Originally Posted by thedrifter
    As for the 21-gun salute, Pearson said, "This request was discussed by university leadership, and we determined that, since classes are in session that day, the sound of gunshots during class time could be alarming to faculty, staff and students."
    Rediculous, lame and a sorry excuse.


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