Barry McNamara  |  Published November 07, 2023

Veterans Day Programs

Monmouth College’s ceremony to be held Nov. 10, with Joe Switzer as featured speaker; alumnus Lance Zedric ’83 to speak at City of Monmouth’s Nov. 11 event.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Monmouth College will pay tribute to the nation’s veterans with a ceremony on campus on Nov. 10.

JOE SWITZER: The Monmouth police chief will be the featured speaker at the College's Veterans... JOE SWITZER: The Monmouth police chief will be the featured speaker at the College's Veterans Day program on Nov. 10.Joe Switzer, chief of the Monmouth Police Department and an Army veteran, will be the featured speaker at the Veterans Day event, which will be held at 4 p.m. in the Veterans Memorial Great Room in the Center for Science and Business.

Monmouth students who are James and Sybil Stockdale Fellows – a prestigious scholarship, leadership, service and enrichment program – are involved in organizing the event. Isabel Gimm ’24 of Liberty, Illinois, a lead mentor in the program, will serve as the emcee, Corey Pevitz ’24 of Naperville, Illinois, will give the invocation, and other fellows will serve as ushers.

The program is named for Vice Adm. James Stockdale and his wife, Sybil. Known as an inspiring and courageous leader, Stockdale was a member of the Monmouth College Class of 1946 and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. Stockdale was shot down in 1965 over North Vietnam and held captive for nearly eight years as the most senior naval officer in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” prison. He left the service as its most highly decorated member, having earned 26 personal combat decorations, including the Medal of Honor.

Within her duties as director of the College’s Wackerle Center for Career, Leadership & Fellowships, Marnie Steach helps to oversee the Stockdale Fellows program, and she will also speak at the ceremony.

Monmouth music professor Justin Swearinger will lead members of the Fighting Scots Marching Band at the event, including a presentation of “Taps.”

LANCE ZEDRIC: The 1983 Monmouth graduate will be the featured speaker for the City of Monmouth&#3... LANCE ZEDRIC: The 1983 Monmouth graduate will be the featured speaker for the City of Monmouth's Veterans Day program on Nov. 11.The following day, Nov. 11, Monmouth College graduate Lance Zedric ’83 will be the featured speaker for the City of Monmouth’s Veterans Day program at 10 a.m. at the American Legion, which will again feature music by the Fighting Scots Marching Band, playing a selection of patriotic tunes, as well as “Amazing Grace” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

A former Army intelligence analyst and the author of 11 books and hundreds of articles, Zedric has a strong interest in World War II and Army special operations forces. He has also worked as an adviser and historian on several television documentaries and major feature films.

“His message is unselfishly about our combat soldiers. …. Their sacrifices and devotion to their country should never be forgotten, and Lance means to devote his (writing) career to that message.”


One of his books is Silent No More: The Alamo Scouts in Their Own Words, the culmination of his 20 years of work with the unit. The oral history features material based on interviews and correspondence with the men, offering a personal glimpse inside one of the most fascinating clandestine units ever to wear an American uniform. Zedric has served as the historian for the Alamo Scouts Historical Foundation since 2003.

A Peoria Magazine article about Zedric noted “his message is unselfishly about our combat soldiers. …. Their sacrifices and devotion to their country should never be forgotten, and Lance means to devote his (writing) career to that message.”

When not writing, Zedric teaches troubled high school youth in central Illinois.

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