Beginning this morning, the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will honor Veterans Day and the service of our nation’s soldiers.
The observances begin with a Veterans Day remembrance ceremony at 10:30 a.m. today in the War Memorial Chapel at 601 Drillfield Drive. Professor of Aerospace Studies Col. Cameron Torrens, who oversees Virginia Tech’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 875, will speak.
At 11 a.m., Virginia Tech President Tim Sands and Laura Sands will join Torrens and Maj. Gen. Randal Fullhart, commandant of cadets, to place the memorial wreath in front of the cenotaph, which displays the names of Tech’s Medal of Honor recipients, on War Memorial Court. The Gregory Guard, the corps’ precision rifle drill team, will fire a rifle salute. The color guard will present the colors, and a bugler will play “Taps.”
At 3 p.m., the corps will hold a special ceremony at War Memorial Court to add the name of the late Luther James Doss Jr. of the Class of 1970 to the Honor Pylon. Doss was killed in action on April 30, 1970, in the Binh Dinh Province of South Vietnam while trying to rescue eight soldiers who were surrounded by attacking forces. Again, the Gregory Guard will fire a rifle salute, and a bugler will play “Taps.”
Also this afternoon, volunteers from the student organization Veterans@vt will take turns reading the names of those killed while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. It is expected to take more than five hours to read the names of the more than 6,800 men and women who lost their lives in the conflicts. The community is welcome to volunteer to help read the names.
At 4:45 p.m., the corps will hold a formal retreat ceremony on the Upper Quad. The Color Guard will lower the flag; Skipper, the Corps of Cadets’ cannon, will fire; and the Highty-Tighties, the regimental band, will play. Virginia Delegate Richard Anderson, a member of the corps’ Class of 1979, will present two joint resolutions that celebrate the lives of two former Corps of Cadets commandants, Lt. Gen Howard Lane (1980-1989) and Brig. Gen. Earle Acuff (1973-1980).
Two vigils also will honor veterans.
The Air Force ROTC’s Robert Femoyer Service Squadron will hold a 24-hour vigil at the Rock — a memorial to Virginia Tech alumni lost in World War I — on the Upper Quad starting at midnight Nov. 10. Two cadets will be posted as guards and will change every half-hour. Volunteers from the entire Corps of Cadets and the Air Force ROTC will participate.
The Corps of Cadets’ Echo Company will hold a vigil from 11:45 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, to midnight Saturday, Nov. 11, at War Memorial Court.
Two cadets will be posted as guards at the cenotaph and will change every hour. Cadets and many alumni from Echo Company will participate.
All events are free of charge.