The University of Dallas’ ROTC Club, in conjunction with Student Government, held a six-hour-long ceremony in honor of Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 11.
The event, organized by UD junior Patrick Brehany and senior Mitch Pohl, began with the lowering of the flag on the Mall to half mast and continued in Lynch Auditorium with a reading of the names of all 6,313 U.S. servicemen and women who have fallen in both Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.
Beginning at 11 a.m., 24 student volunteers read names from the list of the fallen soldiers for 15 minutes each. The event concluded at 5 p.m. with another flag ceremony on the Mall. A national moment of silence was also observed at 11 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. The event was part of a national program known as the “Remembrance Day National Roll Call.”
According to Brehany, the event sought “to use the unique date of 11/11/11 and the 10th anniversary of the current U.S. military operations in the Middle East to honor all veterans, including the fallen.”
Similar ceremonies took place on 183 campuses across the United States. On the national level, the event was coordinated by Lt. Col. (Ret) Brett Morris together with the Veterans Knowledge Community of NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Each roll call began at 11 a.m. local time.
Students were offered the option of reading the names of fallen soldiers from other armed conflicts, but few took advantage of this opportunity. Brehany commented, “While it’s always nice to do more, the event seemed like a great way to commemorate Veterans Day at UD.”
Pohl said that, while the national program called for other ceremonies in addition to the roll call, the UD ceremony was “by the book” because, “with just the two of us coordinating it, we tried to perform the basic ceremony as well as possible.”
Pohl added, “We appreciate everyone who came to show support for veterans and to pay their respects to the fallen dead.”
Originally known as “Armistice Day,” the official observance of Veterans Day in the United States began in 1938 as a commemoration of the end of the First World War on Nov. 11, 1918. The name was changed to “Veterans Day” in 1954 to honor American veterans of all wars.