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The artwork of seven Jefferson Community College (JCC) veteran students was selected by the U.S. Department of State for inclusion in the exhibit “And Yet We Rise: 20 Years Remembrance and Reflection of September 11th” opening at the U.S. Embassy in London on Sept. 1, 2021 and virtually online at From left are Hawthorne E. Potts, Stephanie G. Eriacho, and Danny R. Bearley. Veterans unavailable for photo: Florian K. Barrie, Jeremy M. Bombardier, Darren P. Lemorta, and Christopher James (CJ) Villanueva. (Photo courtesy of Jefferson Community College)


JCC veteran students’ artwork selected for Sept. 11 remembrance exhibit at U.S. Embassy in London


WATERTOWN, N.Y. (July 29, 2021) – The artwork of seven Jefferson Community College (JCC) veteran students has been selected by the U.S. Department of State for inclusion in the exhibit “And Yet We Rise: 20 Years Remembrance and Reflection of September 11th" opening at the U.S. Embassy in London on Sept. 1 and virtually at

The veteran students created “inside/outside masks” during their Dialogues of Honor and Sacrifice: Soldiers’ Experiences in the Civil War and the Vietnam War (Dialogues On War) course made possible by a National Endowment for the Humanities grant that JCC received in 2018.

Dr. Ronald R. Palmer, professor of history at JCC, initiated the development of Dialogues On War to help veterans gain a deeper understanding of their time spent in the military and combat experience through the lens of the humanities.

“Being asked to share our students’ work in this 9/11 remembrance exhibit is truly an honor,” Palmer said. “For the students who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, 9/11 was a call to duty. They now have a chance through their masks to engage in dialogues on war and its aftermath.

“It is also a tremendous honor for JCC, demonstrating the power of collaboration and innovation in serving our students, and our special relationship with the 10th Mountain Division,” he added.  

In addition to the development of Dialogues On War, veterans in the program traveled to the war memorials in Washington, D.C., and historic battle sites in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Dialogues On War gained national exposure when an article titled “Warrior Lit” was printed in the winter 2019 issue of Humanities, the magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities. As a result, the U.S. Department of State contacted JCC about incorporating the veterans’ artwork in the Sept. 11 exhibit in London. 

Inside/outside masks created by the following JCC veteran students were selected: Florian K. Barrie of LaFargeville, Danny R. Bearley of Carthage, Jeremy M. Bombardier of Watertown, Stephanie G. Eriacho of LaFargeville, Darren P. Lemorta of Great Bend, Hawthorne E. Potts of Carthage, and Christopher James (CJ) Villanueva of Sublette, Kansas.

The masks will be on display along with the United States flag that hung at the exit terminal of Flight 93 at Newark International Airport, New Jersey, on Sept. 12, 2001; objects left on the U.S. Embassy steps in London as a show of grief and reflection for the United States; the Flag of Remembrance, 22.4 feet high by 25.4 feet wide, showcasing the faces and names of 9/11 victims and photographs of uniformed first responders and civilians; a photo of the United States flag painted on the side of a barn in Clinton Corners, New York, on Sept. 12, 2001, by neighborhood farmers; and more.

Prior to the fine arts movers’ preparation of the masks for shipment overseas, the veterans’ artwork was photographed by David M. Bowhall, graphic designer at JCC, for later inclusion in a printed publication of the U.S. Department of State Office of Cultural Heritage.

“Jefferson’s Dialogues On War course has made a significant impact and lasting impression on both our students and our faculty,” said JCC President Ty Stone. “Now the world gets to see and appreciate a visual representation of the personal sacrifice made by our military, through their service to our country. This exhibit is such a meaningful honor for our students, and it is humbling for Jefferson Community College to be a part of the experience.”

In December 2019, the National Humanities Alliance invited Palmer, Stone, then veterans coordinator Craig McNamara and veteran student Stephanie Eriacho to Capitol Hill to share insight about Dialogues On War and how it served JCC’s veterans population. Eriacho was later invited to attend a congressional hearing and give testimony of her Dialogues On War experience. Veterans, active-duty military members and their family members comprise 40% of Jefferson Community College’s enrollment.

In addition to veteran programming, JCC hosts thought-provoking events designed to inspire individuals and spark conversations. Upcoming events are free admission and open to the public. Printable and e-tickets, required, are available online.

For more information about upcoming events at JCC, call the Student Activities and Inclusion Office at (315) 786-2431.


Upcoming Events:

* Never Quit, Never Give Up presentation by Travis Mills 7 p.m. Sept. 2 in Sturtz Theater.

Free general admission tickets:

Enjoy an evening of inspiration and motivation with retired disabled veteran Travis Mills. Critically injured on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Division, Mills is now described as a “recalibrated warrior, motivational speaker, actor, author and an advocate for veterans and amputees.” His sense of humor and unwavering zest for life allow him to connect with audiences as he shares his message about overcoming life’s challenges and adversity.


* Conversations with The Resilient  7:30 p.m. Sept. 17 in Sturtz Theater.

Free general admission tickets: 


* The Resilient Concert 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18 in McVean Gymnasium.

Free general admission tickets:

The Resilient is an American rock band composed primarily of disabled veterans who met at Walter Reed Military Hospital. With the support of rock-and-roll legend Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, the group formed The Resilient to create music that reflects both the hardship and inspiration that they experienced in their military and civilian careers.

This event is made possible by a National Endowment for the Humanities grant with support from the Disabled Persons Action Organization.


(Jefferson Community College)