WWU Students Plan Freedom Festival for Veterans

Veterans all across Missouri are being invited to a special celebration planned for Sunday, April 22, by 14 William Woods University students

Dubbed the Freedom Festival, the celebration aims to honor veterans and military families in the Fulton community and beyond. To be held in Veteran’s Park from 4 to 6 p.m., the Freedom Festival is a culmination of efforts by WWU’s communication senior seminar class.

There will be food, music, games and a special service recognition ceremony with guest speaker Danie Moore, Missouri State Representative for District 20.

According to Nikki Roemer, a senior from Lake Forest, Ill., the festival is only one part of a large project exploring “what the home front means to U.S.”
The assignment was to come up with a question dealing with a current social issue, and then attempt to answer it through different avenues.

Besides event planning, the class has groups working with film, as well as a magazine. Though the other pieces of the project are important to the class, Roemer feels that the Freedom Festival event is essential, because it reaches out to the larger community.

“We thought an event like this would be perfect to show that people really care about their loved ones overseas. It will be a time for community, and that is what a good
home front needs to have,” said Roemer.
The class put a lot of thought and time into the project.

“The project was very difficult. At first we thought our topic would be easy, but we were wrong…to do this project to the best of our ability we had to network. It took a lot of time and travel,” Roemer said.
In the course of the planning, Roemer learned a lot.

“I have learned more about the war, more about what families go through and how veterans deal. I’ve learned where our strengths and weakness are as a country, how to help and give my time to the community. I have an even deeper respect for our soldiers overseas. Most of all, I’ve learned that our home front is stronger than people think and that we can make it stronger,” she said.

The students have sent out more than 500 invitations to veterans all across Missouri.

“I am very, very excited for this event and it will be a good time to gather as a community. It will also send a message to our troops that people love and support them,” said Roemer.

Admission to this event is free, and the rain location will be the Fulton VFW.

Besides Roemer, students involved in this project are Catharine Douglass of Kansas City, Mo.; Erica Dyer of Odessa, Mo.; Courtney Miller of Seaside, Fla.; Robert Friday of Odessa, Texas; Mike Zumwalt of Fenton, Mo.; Mary Loveday of Salem, Mo.; Andrea Ankrom of Middletown, Mo.; Andrew Arizpe of St. Louis, Mo.; Brooke Gastineau of New Bloomfield, Mo.; Jessica Lechner of Fulton, Mo.; Michele Eggen of Centertown, Mo.; Lauren Ortego of Fayetteville, Ark., and Dan Binning of St. Charles, Mo.

E-mail MOFreedomFestival@hotmail.com for more information on the Freedom Festival.