Dear Orange Friends:
Today is Veterans Day, which Syracuse University marks each year with more content, and more purpose, than any university in America.
For several months, I have noticed a quiet and very personal tribute near my office in Crouse Hinds Hall. On a rock near the ground there is a plaque with a bench beside it and a yellowwood tree dedicated to Joseph John Boccia Jr. ’77. He was one of 239 U.S. Marines killed in the 1983 terrorist bombing of a barracks in Beirut, Lebanon.
Joseph’s parents contributed to this special memorial: They donated the bench and the tree in 1984. Their hope was that the memorial would keep the spirit of their son alive on his alma mater’s campus.
Early in July, a small flag appeared next to the rock. I don’t know who put it there, but there it has stayed, through all weather, these last five months. Every visitor to the University passes it. When it falls, someone always puts it back. It seems Joseph Boccia’s parents’ hope is still being honored, as is their son.