College students honor veterans

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA)– Veterans Day is still four days away but students on one college campus in Central Illinois are already stopping to thank our nation’s bravest.

On a chilly afternoon when they could have been inside enjoying a hot cup of cocoa, students at UIS opted to come out and show gratitude instead.

As trees around Illinois shed their natural colors, the students added a splash of color to every tree greeting visitors coming to campus.

“Students are participating in our tie a yellow ribbon event which is taking a yellow ribbon and tying them around trees on campus in honor of veterans,” said Jill Hawkins, Program Director of the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center.

Coordinators say around 30 student volunteers braved the chill to put up hundreds of ribbons. Students said the crisp air could not compare to the sacrifices veterans make for us all.

“They sacrificed their time and their lives for us and their family also did a lot for us as well, sacrificing their family to go out and I just think that out of respect, we should thank them by any means we can,” said freshman Maya Aguado.

In the past, the decorations have left an impact on military members. “I certainly think they feel honored and recognized here on campus and feel appreciated for all they have done and sacrificed for us,” Hawkins said.

The university has honored veterans in this way for more than eight years. UIS will host a flag raising on campus for Veterans Day. Monday evening, wounded army veteran and Dancing With the Stars champion J.R. Martinez will speak in the campus ballroom. The event will start at 6 p.m. and is open to the public.

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