Brit Hume doesn’t mince words.
The former anchor of the Fox News nightly show “Special Report” weighs in daily on the goings on in Washington, consistently hitting the nail on the head. He did so again on Monday when he ripped the University of Virginia for canceling its 21-gun salute tradition held each Veterans Day.
“As an alumnus, I am embarrassed. What pantywaists,” Hume wrote on Twitter.
As an alumnus, I am embarrassed. What pantywaists. https://t.co/9vMYRUzlUS
— Brit Hume (@brithume) November 11, 2019
For the last decade, UVA — designed by Thomas Jefferson — has held a 24-hour ceremony by ROTC cadets, which concluded with a 21-gun salute. The salute is the highest gun salute the U.S. military can perform, usually for heads of state or on special occasions. The number decreases in other salutes, depending on the rank of the recipient.
The decision was made by the Provost’s office and the colonel of UVA’s ROTC program for several reasons.
“One is that it would be disruptive to classes and two unfortunately with gun violence in the U.S., there was some concern that we would cause a panic if someone heard gunshots on grounds,” said UVA President Jim Ryan.
Ryan said the salute “is not a required, or even typical, part of Veteran’s Day ceremonies — as opposed to Memorial Day ceremonies, which are specifically dedicated to those who have lost their lives in service to our country.”
“Given that the plans are already in place for this year, we will follow the event organizers’ recommendation to proceed without the 21-gun salute in our Veterans Day Ceremony. Following this year’s ceremony, however, we will work with our ROTC officers and cadets to take a closer look at options for our Veterans Day events, including those that would enable us to re-introduce the 21-gun salute to the program,” Ryan said.
Other alumni were also unhappy with the school’s decision.
“As a mom of a current 4th year, I’m embarrassed by their decision. So they are telling us that very smart college kids would be upset by an announced, pre-planned 21 gun salute? On Veterans day. Ridiculous,” one Twitter user wrote.
As a mom of a current 4th year, I’m embarasssd by their decision. So they are telling us that very smart college kids would be upset by an announced, pre-planned 21 gun salute? On Veterans day. Ridiculous.
— Rebecca (@Rebecca47630789) November 11, 2019
Wrote another: “How ‘we’ reached the decision? The buck stops with you. Score one for the snowflakes.”
Another wrote: “As a @UVA #UVA student veteran, thank you for marginalizing my community. That is a direct, unmitigated slap in the face to those of us who have served, and especially to those of us who have served and lost. I am deeply sorry that you decided to make this incorrect decision.”
How “we” reached the decision? The buck stops with you. Score one for the snowflakes.
— Dwight Carlisle (@DwightCarlisle1) November 10, 2019
“I am very disillusioned, very upset, and very surprised that they would make such a decision,” Jay Levine, who went through the ROTC program, told local station NBC-29.
“Freedom isn’t free,” Levine said. “There’s a cost and that cost is born by the veterans and the families of those veterans.”
The Daily Progress, a newspaper in Charlottesville where UVA is located, printed several letters blasting the school’s decision.
The decision, one letter-writer wrote, sent “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.”
The reality is that this nation has a long and respected tradition of honoring veterans in public displays, including the 21-gun salute, the highest of honors.
The reality is that UVa is out of step with many in this community, which it aspires to lead, by its decision to downplay the Veterans Day program.