Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Honoring our Heroes

As promised, here is the letter we will soon pass on to the administration calling for all our student veterans to be honored at halftime of a football game this fall. Some of the original signatories are at the bottom. If you would like to sign, please do so in the comments section for now and add your class year and any Columbia affiliation after your name. And please feel free to forward this to anyone you know who may be interested.


Dear President Bollinger, Dr. Murphy, and Chairman Campbell:


We the undersigned are concerned alumni, students and parents of students at Columbia University. We write today in favor of honoring all of Columbia’s student armed forces veterans at halftime of a football game this coming fall.

We believe these veteran-scholars represent the best of both the Columbia community and our country. We also believe that the vast majority of Columbia’s student athletes and fans support our veterans wholeheartedly.

Recent events that paint a false picture of the Columbia family being hostile to our student veterans, even our wounded student veterans, are just that, false. They stand in stark contrast to Columbia’s grand history of honorable contributions to American military history. That history includes the volunteerism and heroism of Alexander Hamilton, Dwight Eisenhower, William Donovan, and Philip Kearney, just to name a few.

We believe the best way to dispel false notions and accentuate the considerable positives would be to hold a halftime ceremony in front of thousands of cheering fans.

Whatever we can do to make such a ceremony happen we are prepared to offer. Just ask.

Respectfully,




Bob Kent '92 C

Gene Straub '49 C , '50 SEAS

Greg Abbruzzese '91 C

Barry Kelner '73 C

Brian & Renée McClain

Donald Jensen '73 C

55 Comments:

At Tue Mar 29, 08:34:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Charles Sergis said...

Jake,
Please add my name to your petition to honor Columbia's military veterans. (Actually I wore
our nation's uniform too, but that was stateside. during peacetime). I
believe a tribute to our combat veterans and those who served overseas is extremely appropriate.
I know you were just mentioning a few names not an exhaustive list but the name of Randy Murff is always fresh in my mind, a football captain and then jet fighter pilot who crashed on a training mission overseas.

 
At Tue Mar 29, 08:38:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Charles Sergis said...

OOps, forgot to list my affilation and year: C'55.

 
At Tue Mar 29, 06:59:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake add me to the list. I'll also send this link to Chris to see if members of the team would like to be added.

Karl Groth, parent of Chris Groth graduating in 2012

 
At Tue Mar 29, 07:09:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, add me to the list. I hope Bollinger listens to these voices and to good reason and acts on this. For whatever it's worth, I lean left on most social issues but right on fiscal and defense matters. There is no excusing the actions of a few sheltered/privelaged children against a disabled combat veteran. This behaviour angers me as it should our entire community.

CURTIS CHEN
SEAS '82 and devout Columbia Supporter
(now living in Hong Kong)

 
At Tue Mar 29, 07:10:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous William O. Flick Jr. said...

Add me to the list please CC '87

 
At Tue Mar 29, 11:10:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

Put me down on and very much for the petition, please.

One of my former classmates was one of the Weathermen nutsos who went up in that Greenwich Village townhouse explosion where they were making bombs (to apparently plant at a dance for trainees at Fort Dix). I remember being appalled at the guy's callousness, but even more so at the time by other former schoolmates' seeming approval of his attempted butchery. (Many academic and administration voices at Columbia during those dark days didn't make me feel much better with their, if not outright tolerance, at least their "understanding" of leftist oppression and violence.) Finally, I think we're doing something positive to combat the academic nonsense and moral density that led to events like that. It's way overdue, but I'm glad I'm still around to witness it.

Richard Szathmary, '67 CC

 
At Tue Mar 29, 11:52:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you thiink political correctness is bad here, it's worse in Norway. See today's WSJ at A 17. We'll become Norway if we don't get our heads screwed on right.

 
At Wed Mar 30, 01:06:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have a higher proportion of "Quislings" than Norway did.
That's what happens when you trade democracy for power. You end up as a politically correct disaster.

 
At Wed Mar 30, 01:09:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake,
Please add my name to your petition:
Kiernan O'Connor C '92

I think it's important that we all increase our awareness of those who serve. Maybe next time some knucklehead wants to bash one of our veterans, he'll think twice. This seems a very appropriate way to do that, particularly with the many connections to the football team over the years.

 
At Wed Mar 30, 02:48:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Jeff Wasserstein said...

add me, please.

Jeff Wasserstein, GS 93, Law 96

 
At Wed Mar 30, 05:30:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Tom said...

Please add my name.

Thomas Long CC 1974

 
At Wed Mar 30, 08:16:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, please add me to the list.

-Ralph DeBernardo, CU Football, CC '09-

 
At Wed Mar 30, 09:25:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a halftime presentation for homecoming is what should really be insisted upon--even though, of course, beggars cant be choosers. But, these veterans deserve a great crowd of at least 5,000-7,000, not 1,500 which might be the case in a regular home game. Something is better than nothing, of course, but I would like these men in uniform to look up at the stands and see a sea of faces, instead off a lot of empty seats. Just a thought.

 
At Wed Mar 30, 09:25:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger DOC said...

With appreciation for all our Columbia military veterans,
Dorian C. Tergis MD CC'74 P&S'78

 
At Wed Mar 30, 09:31:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, many of my classmates at Columbia College and Columbia Law School,served in the military and some made the supreme sacrifice. With sadness, I recall that Allan Willen, one of my closest friends at Columbia College who passed away while serving in the United States Army in the year 1966. No one was a bigger fan of Columbia Football, in particular, and Columbia Athletics, in general, than Allan. By extension, I see the ceremony you are proposing as a great tribute to the memory of my dear friend, Allan, and all of my other friends who gave their lives in the name of their country. Please add my name and my wife's name to your most worthy petition.

Stan Waldbaum, Esq.- Columbia College '62, Columbia Law '65. US Army 1965-1970.

Jewell K. Waldbaum, Ph.D - Columbia Graduate Faculties 1965-1967

 
At Wed Mar 30, 11:20:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

please add me: Richard Berger '57C

 
At Wed Mar 30, 05:44:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Bob L said...

As a Vietam Vet who served in 65-66 and came home to a lack of public appreciation, you can add my name to your list.

Bob Levine, C '58

 
At Wed Mar 30, 07:58:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake,
Thank you for your initiative.
Respectfully, perhaps we should just propose that which you are proposing without any reference to the earlier silliness insofar as it doesn't deserve any more attention and perhaps we shouldn't think of your proposal as a defensive reaction to something. Whatever one's ideological predilection, and I'm center of center, and whatever one may think of one or another war, the fact is that our service men/women and their families have borne a hugely disproportionate share of the sacrifices involved. That at least deserves periodic acknowledgement in ways other than our all heading for a long weekend on Memorial Day. Secondly, if the Spec is right, Columbia happens to be the home to a comparatively large contingent of vets, so that's another reason for us all to say not only thank you but, from past and present Columbians, welcome.

Bohdan Vitvitsky, a/k/a Dr. V
Ph.D. '79
law '85

 
At Wed Mar 30, 09:49:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger okie said...

Jake add me to your petition to honor Columbia's veterans.

John F. O'Connor CC "67, US Army 68-70

 
At Wed Mar 30, 09:53:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please add Sam Williams,dad of Augie,class of 2011

 
At Wed Mar 30, 11:38:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Cr. V the letter would be better without the reference to the disrespectful event.

Karl Groth

 
At Thu Mar 31, 12:16:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger mcclellandjohn said...

Jake,

Please add my name to your petition. Thank you for doing what you do.

Best,
John McClelland
GS'11
US Army 2003-present

 
At Thu Mar 31, 12:26:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Nicolás S. Barragán CC'13 said...

Please add my name. Thank you.

Nicolás S. Barragán CC'13

 
At Thu Mar 31, 04:22:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Carl Henriquez said...

Please add my name to your petition to honor Columbia's military vetrans.

Carl Henriquez, Class of '60 - wrestler, football - P&S Class '64

 
At Thu Mar 31, 05:45:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please add my name:
Rebecca Hiner GS '09

 
At Thu Mar 31, 06:07:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger ebl2009 said...

Jake, please add my name to the list as well.

Eric Lorber, CC 2006

 
At Thu Mar 31, 07:13:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Steve Greenberg C'73 said...

Jake,

I love your blog. Please add my name to the list. I will share this with all my fellow Columbians.

Steve Greenberg C'73

 
At Thu Mar 31, 07:16:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be nice if we could get the likes of Campbell and Kraft to sign?

 
At Thu Mar 31, 08:42:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Cassidy said...

Please add my name to the list as well. Cassidy Luitjen CC'07

 
At Thu Mar 31, 10:37:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please add my name to the list.

Charles Dewey Cole, Jr., '74C

 
At Thu Mar 31, 05:58:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please add my name to the petition.

Jason Streem, DDS, MSD, CC'00 (Varsity Football 1997-2000), US Navy Lieutenant 2005-2008

 
At Fri Apr 01, 03:12:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake,

Please add my name to the list, as well.

Mr. Mergis already mentioned him, but I was lucky enough to be a teammate of Randy Murff's, and must say that he was a genuinely nice guy and one of the toughest SOB's around. He was a willing mentor-of-sorts to myself as an underclassmen back-up tackle, and I can still remember seeing him in the weight room, well after his final game as a senior had passed, working his tail off in the hopes of dropping the necessary pounds it would take for him to qualify for pilot school. Still not sure how he managed to lose it all.

Along with Craig Valentine and a few others, the O-line of '95-'96 led simply by example...even if that meant barely being able to practice during the week because their backs/knees were wrecked...and Murff was the silent leader among them that we all strived to emulate.

Thanks for the exhaustive work you do in keeping up this site and promoting CU football.

Matt Orlowski CC '95

 
At Fri Apr 01, 04:39:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please add me: C. Zachary Rosenberg, CC 2009

 
At Fri Apr 01, 07:39:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake,

Thank you for organizing this worthwhile effort.
Please add our names to the letter.

Joseph and Christine Raimondi, parents of Joe Raimondi, CC Class of 2014.

 
At Fri Apr 01, 08:10:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger James said...

Please add me to the list of supporters.

Jim Gossett, ATC
Associate Athletics Director for Sports Medicine

 
At Fri Apr 01, 08:11:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger James said...

Where is Chris Riga?

 
At Fri Apr 01, 09:32:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Captain Riga is Stationed at Fort Bragg, NC last I made contact with him (about a year ago)

 
At Sat Apr 02, 08:46:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Elizabeth said...

Elizabeth Rooney GSAS 86' (nee Farinas)

 
At Mon Apr 04, 12:48:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous James R. Shorter, Jr. said...

Please add my name as well.
James R. Shorter, Jr. 68C (Columbia NROTC), USN 68-72, USNR 72-98

 
At Mon Apr 04, 05:34:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Matthew said...

Please add my name to the list of supporters.

Matthew Stotler
CC 2011

 
At Mon Apr 04, 09:51:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake,

Please add my name to the list of supporters. Peter Holst-Grubbe, CC'2012

 
At Tue Apr 05, 01:50:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger JJ said...

As a guy who went head-up against Randy on more occasions than my spinal column would like to remember, please add my name to the petition. When I heard he slimmed down to a size compact enough to fit in a fighter cockpit (STILL can't believe it), I marveled at his resolve and drive. It made it all the more sad for me upon hearing of his death. Late 2001 was rough for everyone, but the loss of Randy and of the Columbia Football alumni who died in the WTC was rough for those of us who knew these guys on the field and in the fraternity house. Still miss ya' Randy...

 
At Tue Apr 05, 07:05:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, please add me to the list. Evan Sanford CC'10

 
At Tue Apr 05, 08:14:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Doug said...

Jake, please add me to the list

Doug and Ann Miller, parental units of Louis Miller 2010 and Evan Miller 2012.

 
At Tue Apr 05, 11:29:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Jeff said...

Sign me up!

 
At Tue Apr 05, 11:30:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Jeff said...

Sign me up!

 
At Tue Apr 05, 11:33:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

JJ and Jeff. We need your full names and class years please.

 
At Wed Apr 06, 01:03:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there Jake. Please add my name to the list as well.

Michael Partain CC '08

 
At Thu Apr 07, 03:09:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger BLowry01 said...

As the children of U.S. veterans and parents of a current Columbia football lion, we deeply appreciate the thoughtfulness of this letter and fully support it. We live in a society that allows us to hold and express a broad diversity of views and perspectives and it is essential that we never forget the struggles and lives spent to secure that freedom. All too often we take that freedom for granted and we need more reminders in our everyday lives.

Brian and Renai Lowry, parents of Griffin, Class of 2014.

 
At Fri Apr 08, 12:33:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger JJ said...

Apologies: JJ is John Jennings CC'94
(forgot it defaults to the old login monkier)

 
At Fri Apr 08, 07:56:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add me to the list. Thanks for your efforts in this.

Michael B. Bowdoin
SEAS '97
Captain, USMCR

 
At Fri Apr 08, 08:25:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please add Ben Weingarten, CC 2010.

The "pacifists" at Columbia would never have the freedoms they so cherish without the efforts of our military.

 
At Fri Apr 08, 09:38:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Robert Haga said...

Please add my name to the list.

Robert Haga SEAS '92

 
At Mon Apr 11, 08:31:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please add our names to the list.

Catherine Belknap & Ben Cohen

Parents of Dan Cohen CC'11

 
At Mon Apr 11, 08:54:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake please add me to your list David Moretto parent of Matt Moretto graduating senior 2011

 

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