Honoring America’s military dead

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Patrick Brehany, Contributing Writer

 

For the second year, ROTC Club invites the University of Dallas community to participate in a day of remembrance for the military men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice, particularly in operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. This memorial takes the form of a solemn roll call, held in Lynch Auditorium from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Veterans Day, Sunday, Nov. 11. A minute of silence will be observed nationwide at 1 p.m. on the official holiday, Monday, Nov. 12.

Last year, Remembrance Day brought the campus together by offering an opportunity to honor, pray and commemorate as 6,313 names were read over a period of six hours by student and faculty volunteers. As I listened to the names and ranks called out in chronological order, the years of my life seemed to flash past. I was in fifth grade when the list began; the names continued until Nov. 8, 2011, and the last was that of a lieutenant who came from the ROTC program in which UD participates. Not for a moment in those six hours, nor through the thousands of names, did a single soldier lose significance. Lynch Auditorium, in conjunction with 184 other schools in all 50 states, became a chapel, somehow holy, a quiet place where prayer and reflection were possible.

This year, the tradition continues. Participation will serve the dual purpose of remembering the fallen and honoring those men and women who are still serving in harm’s way. While this year’s list will primarily be composed of names from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, ROTC Club would like to include the names of any service-member related to the UD community who died serving his country. Black armbands will be available in Lynch on the day of the event, upon which individual names can be inscribed and worn as a memorial throughout the day.

While the list of names has grown as the years have passed, it is comforting to know that the University of Dallas has been here to inspire and educate students in the fundamental importance of citizenship and the dignity of all human life. Still, we must remember that it is individuals who make this community and nation possible. The roll call powerfully illustrates the true value of the freedoms and opportunities we experience every day.

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