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Veterans Day 2014

Veterans Day 2014

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On Veterans Day, we celebrate and honor all who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces for their valor, patriotism and sacrifices. Like Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, it’s a holiday we share with other nations and I believe we should honor and respect Veterans Day in the same way.

While Veterans Day is celebrated only once a year, the pride and gratefulness we feel for all those who have served should remain foremost in our consciousness. In the U.K., Australia, Canada, and other countries, it is customary to a wear a red poppy in the weeks leading up to the holiday. In fact, it’s an unwritten rule that any public-facing person (including politicians, TV celebrities, and even soccer players) must wear a red poppy at this time of year.

In the U.K., a large-scale fundraising initiative to benefit veterans accompanies the buildup to the ‘red poppy’ holiday they call Remembrance Day. Additionally, this year saw the installation of 888,246 ceramic poppies by Paul Cummins and Tom Piper at the Tower of London. The breathtaking display is named Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. The Daily Telegraph posted this remarkable video showing how the Tower of London looks from the air:

The poppy-wearing tradition started shortly after World War I, inspired by a poem called “In Flanders Fields,” by Canadian physician Lt. Col. John McCrae. He wrote the poem, currently associated with America’s Memorial Day, on May 3, 1915 after attending the funeral of a fallen comrade.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

The last stanza is moving. These words, written almost a century ago, are still valid and important today. We must never forget those who die in combat, and we should carry the torch forward for every armed forces member of our great nation . Though much has changed since World War I, we should honor and remember the millions of men and women who have served since and prior to the writing of this poem. Each person who has donned the uniform of the Army, Marines, Air Force, Navy, or Coast Guard should remain front and foremost in our minds as we celebrate Veterans Day this year.

America currently has more than 21 million veterans; some are young adults, and some are in their 100s. Today, we honor all of them. Veterans are America’s past, present, and future. They have been an integral foundation of American Public University System since our founding in 1991 as American Military University by retired Marine Corps officer James Etter. Today, many of our faculty and staff are veterans or currently serve in the military. Our university is proudly aligned with current and former service members, and we will always honor the men and women who have served to protect and defend the United States and its allies.

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Wally Boston Dr. Wallace E. Boston was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of American Public University System (APUS) and its parent company, American Public Education, Inc. (APEI) in July 2004. He joined APUS as its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2002. In July 2016, he retired as APUS president and continued as CEO of APEI. In September 2017, he was reappointed APUS president after the resignation of Dr. Karan Powell. In September 2019, Angela Selden was named CEO of APEI, succeeding Dr. Boston who will remain APUS president until his planned retirement in June 2020. Dr. Boston guided APUS through its successful initial accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association in 2006 and ten-year reaccreditation in 2011. In November 2007, he led APEI to an initial public offering on the NASDAQ Exchange. During his tenure, APUS grew to over 100,000 students, 200 degree and certificate programs, and approximately 90,000 alumni. In addition to his service as a board member of APUS and APEI, Dr. Boston is a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), a member of the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, a board member of the Presidents’ Forum, and a board member of Hondros College of Nursing and Fidelis, Inc. He has authored and co-authored papers on the topic of online post-secondary student retention, and is a frequent speaker on the impact of technology on higher education. Dr. Boston is a past Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the McDonogh School, a private K-12 school in Baltimore. In his career prior to APEI and APUS, Dr. Boston served as either CFO, COO, or CEO of Meridian Healthcare, Manor Healthcare, Neighborcare Pharmacies, and Sun Healthcare Group. Dr. Boston is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Chartered Global Management Accountant. He earned an A.B. degree in History from Duke University, an MBA in Marketing and Accounting from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business Administration, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. In 2008, the Board of Trustees of APUS awarded him a Doctorate in Business Administration, honoris causa, and, in April 2017, also bestowed him with the title President Emeritus. Dr. Boston lives in Owings Mills, MD with his wife Sharon and their two daughters.

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