events | University News

Family Who Lost Son in Afghanistan to Speak at UCM’s Patriot Day Ceremony

By Jeff Murphy, September 6, 2018

Patriot Day Flags


WARRENSBURG, MO – A morning of remembrance, members of the local community are invited to attend the 2018 Patriot Day Ceremony at the University of Central Missouri, 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, near the flagpole at the UCM quadrangle.

The program honors the memory of the thousands of civilian men and women, military personnel and first responders who lost their lives during the worst terrorist act to occur on American soil. Activities are being coordinated by the Office of Military and Veteran Services, and are open to all university faculty, staff, students, alumni and others who are interested. The guest speakers for the event are Dale and Megan Duncan, an Olathe, Kan., couple, who lost their oldest son, 21-year-old Army Specialist Spencer C. Duncan, when a Chinook helicopter in which he was riding was shot down in Afghanistan. Spencer was among 30 U.S. servicemen killed on Aug. 6, 2011 marking the largest loss of American lives to occur during the Afghan War on a single day.

To honor their son and other military men and women who died in service to their country, the Duncans established the Spencer C. Duncan Make it Count Foundation. Donations help fund book scholarships for student veterans attending college and supports an organization called Save a Warrior that helps veterans who are suffering with Post-Traumatic stress. The Duncans have supported veterans at UCM through their generosity and have established strong connections with staff and leadership in the Office of Military and Veteran Services.

UCM’s annual Patriot Day observance traditionally includes participation from university administrators, members of local police and fire departments, and Whiteman Air Force Base, who are also invited to participate in the 2018 event.

Visitor parking is available in the visitor parking lots located on South Street near the intersection of south and Maguire streets and at the southwest corner of Clark and Holden streets. Overflow parking is available on the west side of the Multipurpose Building.

In case of inclement weather, the Patriot Day ceremony will be moved indoors to Hendricks Hall.


2018 Patriot Day Program

Master of Ceremonies - Jeff Huffman, Director, Military and Veterans Success Center

Post Colors - UCM ROTC Cadets

University Welcome - Dr. Roger Best Interim President

National Anthem - John Kennedy, UCM Employee and Father of a US Army Veteran

Pledge of Allegiance - Jeff Huffman, Director, Military and Veteran Services

Keynote Speakers - Dale and Megan Duncan

Moment of Reflection - Lieutenant Colonel Jason Christenson, Professor, Military Science and Leadership

Exit Colors - ROTC Color Guard

Firing of the Cannon - UCM ROTC Cadets

Taps, Ringing of the Bell, Conclusion of Service - Warrensburg Fire Department; Johnson County Fire Department; Whiteman AFB Fire Department; Community First Responders


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