The University held a ceremony dedicating a plaque on the north wall of the Rotunda to Capt. Humayun Khan, who served two tours in the Iraq War, Tuesday afternoon. The plaque was previously approved by the Board of Visitors and is a gift from the Seven Society, which has dedicated plaques to commemorate University alumni who lost their life in wars in the past.
The plaque reads, “Iraq War 2003-2011 / In memory of Humayun Saquib Muazzam Khan, a son of the University, who was killed in Iraq in 2004. / He stands in the unbroken line of patriots who dared to die that freedom might live. / Presented by the Seven Society.”
Khan graduated from the University in 2000 with a degree in psychology and was a member of the Army ROTC program. His story was in the national spotlight during the recent presidential election, following his father Khizr Khan’s speech at the Democratic National Convention last July.
Khizr Khan attended the ceremony Tuesday with his wife Ghazala. Khizr Khan visited the University in November and spoke at Old Cabell Hall, where he told The Cavalier Daily about the impact of the University community had on his son.
“We gave a high school graduate to this institution — to this University. The rest of him was made right here,” he said.
Capt. Khan was killed by a bomb in Baqubah, Iraq, on June 8, 2004. Khan is the only University alumnus who died in the Iraq War.
In addition to Khan’s parents, his brothers Omer and Shaharyar, classmates from his ROTC class and cadets from the Army ROTC program at the University attended the ceremony.
University President Teresa Sullivan was also in attendance.
“We’re grateful for Humayun’s service to this country and his sacrifice, and we’re proud to include him among our distinguished alumni,” Sullivan said at the ceremony.
LTC Mark C. Houston, the the current commander of the University’s Army ROTC battalion, introduced featured speaker Col. Robert E. McMillin II. McMillin graduated from the University in 1984 and was also part of the Army ROTC program.
Sullivan’s presentation of the plaque was followed by the a moving performance of Taps — the Army song played at flag ceremonies and military funerals — on the steps of the Rotunda.
Sullivan delivered the closing remarks and gave Khan’s parents a replication of the plaque dedicated to their son.