25th anniversary of the Veterans Vigil

ASU AFROTC cadets hold ceremony to revere San Angelo veterans

By Madison Wallace
On November 12, 2020

Photo by Madison Wallace: 
Director of the Veterans Center Susan Williams spoke at the Veterans Vigil in the Oak Memorial Grove. ASU hosts vigils like this every year for the past 25 years in honor of San Angelo Veterans.


ASU on Nov 11 held the 25th observance of the age-old tradition known as the Veterans Vigil. 

This ceremony takes place on campus in the Oak Memorial Grove located on Avenue N. and is put on with the help of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Detachment, DET 847. 

This annual event is held to honor all veterans on this significant holiday. 

This year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic canceling many on-campus events, ASU administration limited the attendance to particular personnel and distinguished guests for the Veterans Day celebration.

AFROTC Cadet Ashley Nesbitt planned this year's Veterans Vigil and did so with the help of other cadets from DET 847. 

Direct of the Veterans Center Susan Williams, Lt. Col. Alan Lamb and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class James D. Shook were the three guest speakers for the evening and all gave memorable speeches. 

 After the three speakers, the cadets started off the time-honored tradition of reading a story of ASU alumni who either died in battle or went missing during combat. 

These readings happen every 30 minutes until midnight. Cadets also participate in guarding the Oak Memorial Grove. Cadet Tylor Underwood explained the process of guarding as being similar to that of the guarding of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 

 “Cadets take 21 paces, wait 21 seconds and repeat the process, switching out guards every 30 minutes similar to the soldiers until midnight,” Underwood said.

 The number 21 is chosen for this ceremony because it symbolizes the highest military honor that can be bestowed—the 21-gun salute. 

This time-honored tradition is special and appreciated by many veterans- faculty and students alike.

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