Hundreds of students, parents, children, grandparents and faculty gathered together Monday to share in American values.
Prominent members of the Colorado community spoke including CSU President Al Yates, University of Denver Chancellor Daniel Ritchie, Governor Bill Owens and Former U.S. Senator and Astronaut John Glenn.
At least four charter buses drove CSU students to the “Bridges to the Future” inaugural event in the Ritchie Center at DU.
In Governor Owens’ speech he emphasized that Americans take pride in their American values. Though he did not point out any one value, CSU students said what values they believe he meant.
“Family, religion, freedom, liberty,” said Jason Hughes, a senior economics major.
“One nation under God,” said Brian Somerville, “I think that’s a big (value), especially the ‘under God.'” Somerville is a junior majoring in mechanical engineering at CSU.
Not only did Owens’ stress that Americans, especially after Sept. 11, take pride in their values as a nation, but that the United States is the strongest it has ever been. Many CSU students agreed.
“We’ve come together, we have more pride to be Americans,” Hughes said.
However, Ally Hoskins, a freshman anthropology major, is not convinced. America is “not necessarily” the strongest it has ever been, she said, though she does feel that freedom and unity are two important American values.
Many of the students in attendance were there to hear John Glenn speak about the war on terrorism.
“I was interested (to hear) John Glenn because I’m a fan of Glenn’s space program and I like Bill Owens,” said Somerville.
CSU students said they enjoyed themselves and would attend other “Bridges to the Future” events, especially when General H. Norman Schwarzkopf speaks at Moby Arena on Nov. 6.
“I’ll attend any event I know about,” said Pete McGuire, a junior at CSU.
The speakers emphasized that Americans are lucky to gather safely and freely to discuss these issues. McGuire agreed. “Unlike in other countries, we’re able to express ourselves freely,” McGuire said.