As University of Virginia alum, I am totally disgusted by the decision not to allow the 21-gun salute at the UVa Veteran's Day remembrance this year, as well by as the ban on amplified music.   

The salute is a traditional salute to the service and sacrifice of those who have served and died in the defense of this country and its citizens. To deny this honor is a disservice to not only the veterans but to their families, who have sacrificed so much.   

The reason given that it would "disrupt" classes is both disingenuous and insulting. If the NCAA scheduled a football game on a weekday night when classes are held, would the university refuse to comply because the game would be a distraction to those attending evening classes? I think not.

When the decision was questioned by many in the community, President Jim Ryan stated that the decision would not be changed and then added injury to insult by trying to connect a time-honored salute those that have given their all to defend this country to "gun violence." This statement is totally mind-boggling.

Then he continued with the observation that the university wants to connect more with the area residents and their wishes. Forgive me, but this action proves that those are hollow words, as not only have multiple local citizens and an editorial by The Daily Progress (“UVa should accommodate 21-gun salute,” Nov. 6) voiced disagreement with the decision, but in addition there was no meaningful discussion with anyone in the community about the decision.

Frankly, the proper thing to do when the opportunity presented itself was to gracefully change the decision.  However, it appears that Mr. Ryan is too arrogant to admit that he was wrong.   

So I would challenge Mr. Ryan to take a drive down U.S. 29 to Bedford and speak to the residents there.   Ask those families if the loss suffered by the majority of the families in World War II was a "distraction" and had anything remotely to do with "gun violence" in this country or area.

Perhaps viewing of the movie "Saving Private Ryan" would give Mr. Ryan an idea of the bravery and sacrifice of those who went in on D-Day (June 6, 1944) in providing us with the life that we all enjoy today.  

Karen Hartranft

Albemarle County


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