Evan Hierholzer, Contributing Writer
Monday, Nov. 11, the ROTC club at the University of Dallas will participate in an event called “National Roll Call,” which will provide students, faculty and staff the opportunity to reflect on the sacrifice of service members and to honor their memory.
Though a local event, the remembrance service is part of a national ceremony honoring departed soldiers, in which 85 schools across the country will participate, said Capt. Nick Hedlesky, the chief organizer of the event.
“This is a solemn event where more than 6,770 names are read to remember the soldiers who have given their lives in the last three operations – Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and New Dawn,” said Hedlesky.
The ROTC club has hosted this event annually since its first celebration on the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11. This year, the event will be preceded by the opportunity to purchase ribbons and coins in Haggar. Then on the 11th, “those who volunteered will read the Roll Call of the Fallen,” said Hedlesky. During the ceremony, participants will also have the opportunity to look over materials recounting the stories of UD’s own fallen alumni: Major Hugh Michael Fanning, Lieutenant Eric A. Hamm and Specialist 4 Joseph Henry Wacker.
“Also, there will be a remembrance wall for the name of any service member close to the UD community’s heart. The ceremony will conclude at 5 p.m. with some words from Fr. Thomas and a flag-lowering ceremony,” said Hedlesky.
According to Hedlesky, “The event is a tribute to recognize those who have served, are serving and those who died in service to the nation … it honors our country’s fallen heroes in a real and present way by bringing the past to life through a living recitation of their names.”
Hedlesky also emphasized the importance of such remembrance for both ROTC and civilians. “For us future officers in ROTC, who wear the same uniform as those who have passed before us, it is part of our honorable task to remember that distinguished group that has paid the ultimate price defending our freedoms and families. As civilians whose freedoms and lives have been protected by these heroes, it is honorable to give our thanks and respect to their memory,” he said.
Ribbons and coins will be sold in Haggar Nov. 4 – 8, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. The Roll Call ceremony will take place in the Gorman Faculty Lounge from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and will be followed by Fr. Thomas’ closing remarks and a flag-lowering by the cadets at the flag pole.
“We invite other students to join us in meditation, prayer and overall show of support for our troops and their families as we celebrate Remembrance Day,” said Hedlesky.