On Nov. 11 at 10:30 a.m. the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will hold a Veterans Day remembrance ceremony in the War Memorial Chapel to recognize all veterans and to honor the service that Virginia Tech men and women have given our nation. All are invited to attend this special ceremony.

Lt. Col. Bill Stringer, U.S. Marine Corps (retired), Deputy Commandant of Cadets for 1st Battalion of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, will speak, the service songs will be played, and then all attendees will be asked to proceed up to the War Memorial for the placing of a memorial wreath. At 11 a.m. the wreath will placed in front of the cenotaph on Memorial Court. The Gregory Guard, the corps rifle drill team, will fire a rifle salute, and taps will be played.

Eleven o’clock is a symbolic time on this special day. Veterans Day, formerly called Armistice Day, was initially created to celebrate the signing of the Armistice at the end of World War I. The Armistice took effect at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month in the year 1918.  

In addition, at 4:45 p.m., the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will hold a formal retreat ceremony at the flag pole on Upper Quad. The Regiment will be formed between Lane, Brodie, and Rasche Halls. The Color Guard will lower the flag, Skipper, the corps cannon, will fire, and the Highty-Tighties, the Regimental Band, will play.

The corps will also be holding two vigil ceremonies to honor our nation’s veterans. Arnold Air Society will be holding a 24-hour vigil at the Rock on Upper Quad from midnight Wednesday to midnight Thursday. Two cadets will be posted as guards and will change every half an hour. 

Volunteers from the entire corps will take turns and the final two cadets standing vigil will be the two most senior ranking cadets, the Regimental Commander, Cadet Col. Micah Hafich of Woodbridge, Va., a senior majoring in mathematics in the College of Science and a member of Air Force ROTC and the Regimental Executive Officer, Cadet Lt. Col. Randy Coates of  Banco, Va., a senior majoring in mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering and a member of the Civilian Track program. Hafich is the recipient of the Arthur E. Sturgill, Jr. '83 Memorial Emerging Leader Scholarship and the G. Scott Francis '36 Commandant Scholarship and Coates is the recipient of the Maria Teresa and Martin A. Rafferty Emerging Leader Scholarship. 

The second vigil will be located at the War Memorial Pylons. Echo Company will hold a 48-hour vigil from midnight Tuesday to midnight Thursday. Two cadets will be posted as guards at the cenotaph and will change every hour. All current and many former members of Echo Company will participate in the vigil. 

Echo Company Commander Cadet Maj. Christopher Radford of Aiken, S.C., a senior majoring in mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering and a member of Naval ROTC who is a recipient of the William C. McAllister '65 Emerging Leader Scholarship explains the importance of the vigil, “This vigil has become very special to all cadets in Echo, both past and present. Every year we have former members who come back and participate in the vigil, as well as many alumni. This vigil gives a special meaning and reverence to Veterans Day that I did not always have before participating in it. From the first steps beyond Torgerson bridge when the detail falls silent until the detail is relieved and returns to the dorms, the cadets involved get a sense what Veterans Day means. We all realize by the end of it that Veterans Day isn’t just another national holiday, but instead is a day meant to honor those who have gone before us and realize that soon many of us will answer the same call that they did. This is why the vigil is so important to all those who have been a part of Echo Company.”

All are welcome to come and view these ceremonies.

On Saturday, Nov. 6, the Highty-Tighties, the Color Guard, and the Gregory Guard will represent the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets as they march in the Virginia Veterans Parade in Roanoke, Va. The parade will start at 11 a.m. and the parade route will go north on Jefferson Street and then east on Campbell Avenue through the city market.

The Rock is a memorial to Virginia Tech alumni lost in WWI and is located next to the flag pole on Upper Quad. Cadets salute this memorial whenever they pass it to honor the sacrifice of these men. All Hokies are encouraged to place their hand over their heart when passing it, as cadets do when out of uniform.

The Pylons are a representation of Virginia Tech’s values. The values engraved on the eight pylons are, (from left to right): Brotherhood, Honor, Leadership, Sacrifice, Service, Loyalty, Duty, and Ut Prosim. The Pylons are etched with the names of 425 Virginia Tech students and graduates who have died defending our nation’s freedom. At the memorial’s center, the cenotaph displays the names of Virginia Tech’s seven Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. 

The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will hold a Pylon Dedication Ceremony in April 2011 to add Ensign Zachary Eckhart’s name to the memorial.

With a visitor’s pass, free parking is available on the Drillfield, along Alumni Mall, and in the Shultz Lot. A visitor’s pass may be obtained Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Visitor Information Center, located on Southgate Drive.  Find more parking information online or call (540) 231-3200.

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