Thankful for Service

Cub Scout Pack 581 from Banks, Ore., present the colors.

Nov. 11, 2013

Pacific University marks Veterans Day with thanks.

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Robert Black joined the Marine Corps Reserves in college.

In the midst of the Cold War, the reserves hadn’t been called upon in decades, he said. But the lull wouldn’t last.

Now the manager of Pacific University Campus Public Safety, Black said he had little idea what the service would mean in his life.

He’s served both in the reserves and the National Guard, responded to domestic emergencies and been deployed overseas three times.

“There are moments of terror, moments of boredom, moments of service,” Black said. “What veterans do and have done, for their country, for their communities, is worth honoring and worth remembering.”

Pacific University marked Veterans Day on Monday with a short ceremony in McCready Auditorium. Joined by a handful of veterans and a few more family members of veterans or active duty military personnel, Pacific faculty and staff sang patriotic songs, held a moment of silence and listened stoically to a two-trumpet rendition of Taps.

Cub Scouts Pack 581 out of Banks presented the colors charmingly, seriously practicing their saluting form, and the nearly 30 members of the Pacific University Chamber Singers — many family members of veterans — sang a haunting arrangement of the hymn Goin Home.

Goin’ home, goin’ home,
I’m just goin’ home
Quiet like, still some day, I’m just goin’ home
It’s not far, just close by, through an open door
Work all done, care laid by
Going to fear no more
Mother’s there, expecting me
Father’s waiting too
Lots of folks gathered there
All the friends I knew
Goin’ home
Goin’ home

“It’s an honor to be able to stand before you and mark this day,” said President Lesley Hallick, recalling her own family legacy of service.

“My father was a chemistry major in Massachusetts and enlisted a couple of days after Pearl Harbor. When I hear the Marine Corps anthem in that medley, I still get chills,” she told the intimate crowd. “It’s a privilege to be able to say thank you.”