University of Virginia Cancels 21-Gun Salute Honoring Veterans Citing “Gun Violence”


On Veteran’s Day this past Monday, Americans found different ways to honor those who have put their lives on the line to serve their country in foreign wars. At the University of Virginia, a 21-gun salute had been planned, a very honorable way to pay tribute to our nation’s veterans. 

That is, it was planned…until someone decided it would be too triggering. 

James Ryan, the university’s President, cited two reasons for the cancellation in a post on Facebook, saying, “First, to minimize disruptions to classes, given that this event is located at the juncture of four primary academic buildings and is held at a time that classes are in session; and second, recognizing concerns related to firing weapons on the Grounds in light of gun violence that has happened across our nation, especially on school and university campuses.”

It would have been one thing to cancel the event out of consideration for veterans who suffer from PTSD and have legitimate reasons to be triggered by the sound of gunfire. 

But no. It just had to be political. The outrage was swift and significant. Veterans and military supporters did not take too kindly to canceling a tribute to veterans for these reasons. .

“I am very disillusioned, very upset, and very surprised that they would make such a decision,” veteran Jay Levine said to TV station WHSV.

In an editorial piece, the Daily Progress said, “It also, ironically, sends an unfortunate message about students: That they are too fragile, too delicate, too distractible to deal with the ‘interruption’ of the salute. That they are too insular, too wrapped up in their own worlds to comprehend and accept this longstanding practice. That they must be protected from the reality that exists outside academia.”

This is what has become of our nation’s higher learning institutions.  It’s too disruptive for university students, who are adults, to take a few minutes from their class time to show respect to veterans who have fought to defend our country and preserve our freedoms, who themselves do appear to have been concerned about being triggered by the event after serving in war.

It’s such a shallow argument to cite “gun violence” as a reason to cancel a ceremonial firing of guns in the hands of trained and capable members of the military. 

Fortunately, this foolish move was treated as such and it will not be repeated. 

Todd Starnes reports:

The blowback was apparently so significant – that President Ryan promised to re-introduce the 21-gun salute next year.

The notion that students might suffer some sort of disruption because the ROTC is honoring our veterans is repulsive.

The irony is that gun salutes are a demonstration of a military’s peaceful intentions, according to the U.S. Army Center of Military History.

“The use of gun salutes for military occasions is traced to early warriors who demonstrated their peaceful intentions by placing their weapons in a position that rendered them ineffective,” the center explained. “The 21-gun salute became the highest honor a nation rendered.”

James Ryan mistakenly thought that protecting his supposedly overly sensitive students was more pressing than honoring veterans. Fortunately, he didn’t get away with this farce and hopefully, it set an example for other “woke” college presidents who may consider disrespecting our country’s honorable veterans and the military for the sake of not “triggering” spoiled college students in the future.


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