Honoring Those Who Came Before

11 November 2010 celebrated the 72nd Veteran’s Day in American history.  While everyone feels the weight this holiday brings, the ROTC units of Oregon State University recognize its significance more than many of the students. Three ROTC units with students entering the four combat oriented military branches hold at least 400 students who will graduate and join the forces we celebrate and honor every Veteran’s Day. At eleven o’clock on the twelfth, the Arnold Air Society 1st Lt James L. Badley Squadron at Oregon State hosted a Veteran’s Day ceremony.  

            Included in the ceremony was a missing man routine, a touching speech given by Colonel Douglas Cochran, former Detachment 685 commander retired Air Force pilot, and a reading of the names of all the Oregon veterans who remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam and the Korean War. The names were then honored with a playing of TAPS by an Army ROTC Cadet and a Joint Service 3-Volley Salute, traditional of such ceremonies.  The ceremony, led by the Arnold Air Society Cadet Commander at AFROTC Detachment 685, lasted just under an hour and was attended by several Generals, an Admiral and other guests of honor.  A 24-hour POW/MIA candlelight vigil and a 12-hour POW/MIA flag walk concluded the service, lasting until 12pm Saturday the 13th.  Cadets from every service represented on campus took turns walking the POW/MIA flag and standing by a table in the MU quad symbolizing the sacrifices made by our military men and women. The candle, which was lit during the ceremony, burned for 24 hours straight, never being allowed to burn out. The POW/MIA flag was carried for 12 hours before being returned to its post.

Thank You to all who Serve, Past and Present.