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Archive for Saturday, November 8, 2008

Solemn vigil for war veterans

November 8, 2008

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ROTC members pay homage to veterans

KU ROTC members held a vigil on Friday and Saturday for those who served in combat. Enlarge video

24-hour vigil honors those who served

KU's ROTC has begun their vigil for soldiers who served the country during times of war, both past and present. Enlarge video

A KU Navy ROTC member stands at attention on Saturday at KU's Vietnam War Memorial. ROTC members stood post at all three war memorials on campus as part of a 24-hour vigil honoring Veterans Day.

A KU Navy ROTC member stands at attention on Saturday at KU's Vietnam War Memorial. ROTC members stood post at all three war memorials on campus as part of a 24-hour vigil honoring Veterans Day.

For Stephanie Koenig, Veterans Day is sacred. She helped organize a weekend vigil. She visited war memorials on the KU campus. But the KU junior, a cadet 1st lieutenant in the Air Force ROTC program, said most Americans view the holiday a bit differently.

"You could probably ask a lot of people in America, and they wouldn't even know what day Veterans Day is," Koenig said. "If you're not a veteran, you don't even think of it."

For cadets, Veterans Day isn't just a day off work or a chance to sleep in. In preparation for the holiday, they participated in a 24-hour vigil this weekend as homage to those who served.

ROTC members stood two abreast at the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial and the World War II Memorial Campanile from 7 p.m. Friday to 7 p.m. Saturday. They accompanied a single battery-powered lamp, meant as a reminder for those who fell in combat.

"The lamp is symbolic," Koenig said. "The point is it runs for the entire 24 hours. It's to honor those who gave their lives."

For many members of the military program, the annual ceremony was not only a chance to honor the elders, but also a sobering reminder that they might see combat.

For John Fridlington, a KU sophomore and cadet in Army ROTC, the vigil served as a reminder for his possible post-college duties.

"I haven't been deployed, but as soon as I get out of here, we have commitments that we have to serve," he said. "We become veterans. Veterans day will be our holiday. It means a lot to be here and standing post."

Fridlington stood post at the Campanile for an hour Friday night with Andrew DeGarmo, KU sophomore and Navy ROTC midshipman. They were accompanied by a howling wind, the vigil a reminder of those who preceded him in the military.

DeGarmo said the vigil was not only to recognize both veterans of previous wars, but also those currently serving in Iraq.

"I'm just a student, so I don't know what it's like to be in war," he said. "But it's just a way to pay tribute."

When Koenig organized the event, she said there was a bunch of enthusiasm from the cadets. ROTC provided supplies and warm clothing for the night. Cadets provided the watchful eye on the memorials.

"It makes us stop and think that we're going to be doing this someday too," she said.

Comments

Marion Lynn 5 years, 5 months ago

To our veterans who have helped to preserve our way of life and freedom:Thank you for your service.

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 5 months ago

"You could probably ask a lot of people in America, and they wouldn't even know what day Veterans Day is," Koenig said. "If you're not a veteran, you don't even think of it."----I'm going to offend somebody with this but as a prior member of the USAR, and as a citizen of this country, this town. I want to say this.Boo Hoo you baby!How dare you make such a generalized statement about the citizens of our nation.We, the soldiers of WWI, Korean, VIetnam and following comflicts. We, the families. The children of those veteran's. The wives, the parents. Brothers and sisters.We, the friends. The people who lost someone, who never knew what the future may have been.The ones who worried, and wept with others at their loss.But you, you who had to stay up all night in the dark,boo hoo hoo.Just because the rest of the nation wasn't staying up all night, you think no one knows or cares?Come say that when you've been around for more than perhaps 21 years of life in this great nation.The good thing is, that most of the WWII Vets I know, that are dropping like flies lately, while they might be irritated, would chuckle at the folly of 'youth'.I'm not putting down the ceremony, just the fact that anyone said that, or believes it to be true.And I write this, knowing I too was young and sometimes in error. May those I ever trod upon forgive me for my youthful ignorance.

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tunahelper 5 years, 5 months ago

it would be best for us if rklog would move to cuba, or iran or china. he certainly does NOT know the price of freedom.if you can read this, thank a teacher.if you can read this in English, thank an American Soldier.

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jaywalker 5 years, 5 months ago

God Bless our Troops, immeasurable gratitude for all who've served.

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RKLOG 5 years, 5 months ago

It's all circular reasoning. No better way to honor vets than to stop fighting.

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macon47 5 years, 5 months ago

i think it is great that other communitiesshow their support of our veterans.we wouldnt expect lawence to do anythingdecent since it isnt tied to drugs

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Puff_Dragon 5 years, 5 months ago

Please show your acknowledgement and respect for all those who have served this Veterans Day and fly the Stars and Stripes from your home or business. The vets do notice and are proud that you do appreciate their years of service to our country.

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Koolaid 5 years, 5 months ago

KU, where cadets are often discouraged from wearing their uniforms on lab days because of the anti-military and anti-American sentiments of the socialist students. KU should be closed, shut down. Relocate it to Cuba.

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iLikelawrence 5 years, 5 months ago

Thank you for your upcoming service to our country, cadets.

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Lynn731 5 years, 5 months ago

Well, I never forget it, or why it is important. My father, and my father in law, were both in WWII. Thank you, Lynn

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