Moody Coliseum was decked out in red, white and blue Thursday for ACU’s annual Veterans Day Chapel.
Dr. Phil Schubert, president of the university, led the opening welcome and said Veterans Day was an opportunity to honor those who have served the nation.
“Our remembrance this morning is for our living veterans and those no longer living,” Schubert said. “We desire to honor them.”
Former ACU studentÂ 1st Lt. J.E. Smith, former B-24 pilot in the Army Air Corps during World War II, led the invocation. Smith, 87, said Veterans Day Chapel is important to him because it reminds him of his time at ACU in the 1940s.
“I went to school here and when I went here thank goodness they had Chapel,” Smith said. “They (armed forces) pulled me out my sophomore year. I found out quick there are no atheists in combat.”
Smith said he was moved by ACU’s Veterans Day Chapel and said it was a fitting tribute.
“This particular Chapel is the most impressive thing I’ve been to,” Smith said.
After Smiths invocation, the audience watched a video honoring ACU graduate Lt. Mary Wofford (’52). Wofford served as a flight nurse during World War II in the Army Nurse Corps.
ACU’s Grand Chorus, a group of around 100 students, performed several vocal pieces during the Chapel, including “The Star Spangled Banner.” The Chorus also performed the service songs for the Army, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and Navy. The Chorus concluded the Chapel by singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
Dr. Gary McCaleb, vice president of the university and chairman of the Veterans Day Chapel committee, said the performances by the Chorus helped make the Chapel special.
“They were fantastic. It wasn’t just a great musical performance, it was emotional,” McCaleb said. “People told me they had tears in their eyes afterwards.”
McCaleb said the most important part of Veterans Day Chapel is the inter-generation connectivity. He said it is great to see students cheering for veterans who are grandparents and great grandparents.
“It’s important for us to understand our place in history and to remember those who have given us their service,” McCaleb said. “Sometimes they think they have have been forgotten. This says we remember.”