BC Students Take Part in 'Grateful Nation' Project

BC Students Take Part in 'Grateful Nation' Project

More than 1,000 Boston College students have signed special holiday greeting cards that will be sent to American troops overseas in recognition of their service to the country. The Thanksgiving greetings are part of the "Operation Grateful Nation" project sponsored by the White House Commission on Remembrance.

US Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Admiral Richard Naughton holds the Thanksgiving greeting card signed by Boston College students that was presented prior to the Oct. 19 BC-Navy football game. WIth Naughton are Campus Ministry Director Rev. James Erps, SJ, (right), UGBC President Adam Baker '03 (left) and Courtney Baker '05. (Photo by John Quackenbos)
UGBC President Adam Baker '03 presented the University's first holiday card to US Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Admiral Richard Naughton prior to the kickoff of the Oct. 19 BC-Navy football game at Alumni Stadium. Naughton accepted the card for all US military personnel who will receive the greetings in time for Thanksgiving.

Additional signatures were collected from students during the week of Oct. 21-25 at a UGBC booth in McElroy Commons.

Baker said that the idea of sending holiday greetings developed after UGBC officials had worked with the White House Commission staff to organize campus events commemorating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in which 21 Boston College alumni and parents were killed.

"I think this is important in the sense that it recognizes that a lot of people our own age are serving overseas in the military," Baker said. "They have given up a lot to serve our country.

"We're not looking at this as a pro-war or anti-war activity," Baker said. "We just want to show our support for people who are not going to be home for Thanksgiving and who are out there risking their lives for us."

Boston College's participation in the project is co-sponsored by UGBC and the Office of Campus Ministry. Similar card-signing campaigns are underway at Princeton and Pennsylvania State universities this year, and the project will be expanded to include colleges across the nation in future years, according to organizers of the effort.

The 2-by-4-foot Thanksgiving greeting cards were designed by cartoonists Dean Young and Dennis Lebrun, who draw the "Blondie" comic strip. The signed cards will be sent to military personnel serving in Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf area, Japan, Korea, Turkey and Bosnia, as well as on a number of Navy ships.

-Reid Oslin


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