Captain Dante Gaziano ’11 Anchors Veterans Day Commemoration Hall

On November 11, Headmaster Brennan welcomed students, faculty, staff, and two dozen guests—alumni, parents, veterans—to Roxbury Latin’s annual Veterans Day Hall, which honors, as Mr. Brennan began, “those veterans who are with us, and also all those others who have served our country in peacetime and wartime over the past 250 years. Their commitment, loyalty, and service to our country, to the values for which it stands, and for each one of us ought never to be forgotten.”

Following a welcome by Mr. Brennan—which included a brief history of Armistice Day, and of the RL alumni who committed their lives to military service—came a reading by senior Andrew Sparks of In Flanders Fields, by John McCrae, and a reading by senior Armando Walters of A Mighty Heart, by Oliver Wendell Holmes. Rousing renditions of the songs America, I Vow to Thee My Country, and God Bless America rounded out a celebration that culminated in a personal and powerful address delivered by Captain Dante Gaziano, Class of 2011.

“There are probably one or two of you in each class who are seriously considering joining the military,” said Dante. “To you I say, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. You’ll learn things about yourself and leadership and honor and grit and teamwork that you likely wouldn’t discover anywhere else. You’ll also learn plenty about incompetence and bureaucracy and pointless suffering and tedium and at times you’ll curse the movies that fooled you into thinking military life was full of excitement and adventure. But if your experience is anything like mine it will be the greatest privilege of your life, and when your time in the military is up you won’t regret a single day of it.” (Read the entirety of Dante’s remarks.)

Dante was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in the Army, via ROTC, upon graduating from Vanderbilt University in 2015. After completing the Basic Officer Leadership Course, Ranger School, and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia, he was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division. In 2016 he was deployed to Afghanistan. In 2018, Dante was selected to join the 75th Ranger Regiment, the Army’s premier infantry unit, where he served as a special operations intelligence officer and platoon leader, deploying to Afghanistan in 2019 and to Jordan in 2020. Dante left active duty this past May, with the rank of Captain.

“We are grateful to Dante for his service, and for the service of the millions of other men and women who have fought to defend the lives and freedoms that we enjoy today,” concluded Mr. Brennan. “He—and the other veterans with us this morning—honor us by their presence.”

View the entirety of this year’s Veterans Day Commemoration Hall.