The University of Virginia’s 21-gun salute tradition for Veterans Day was ended. This is because a “panic” could happen if students hear it due to gun violence in the country. UVA President Jim Ryan explained that one reason would be how it could disrupt classes, and another is the possibility of panic if the students hear gunshots on school grounds.
There have been some negative reactions towards the decision to end the tradition. Veteran Jay Levine, who went through the UVA ROTC program, is upset by the decision as the 21-gun salute is the “ultimate acknowledgment to deceased U.S. service members.” He added that freedom isn’t free – “There’s a cost, and that cost is borne by the veterans and the families of those veterans.”
In a November 19 report by CNS News, however, the university has restored its annual tradition and admitted that they made a mistake by cancelling it this year. UVA President Jim Ryan announced that the tradition had been reinstated. He offered apologies to those who objected to the cancellation. “Sometimes you make mistakes. Although motivated by good intentions, I believe we made a mistake this year in excluding the 21-gun salute from our Veterans Day ceremony. Having attended the ceremony, and having consulted with the Commander in charge, I am confident that we can accommodate a 21-gun salute, which had been a meaningful feature of the ceremony in years past,” he said.
He said that the 21-gun salute will be reinstated next year, and they will make sure that class disruptions are minimized and ceremony details will be communicated in advance.