Veterans' Vigil will honor fallen heroes Nov. 7

Remembering those who served before

By Sawyer Ricard
On November 2, 2012

  • Managing Editor. Ram Page

     ROTC Detachment 847's Arnold Air Society (AAS) plans to hold the 19th annual Veterans' Vigil on Nov.  7 at the ASU Memorial Oak Grove.   

     This event has been held since 1994 to honor the ASU veterans who lost their lives during World War II, Cadet Kenneth Chalupa said.

     The Veterans' Vigil starts with an opening ceremony and a flag retreat at 5 p.m., he said. The opening ceremony will include speeches given by cadets and a guest speaker.

     Kurt Kelpe, a veteran of World War II, will talk about his experiences, Cadet Ray Chhith said.

     "We're really excited to hear from him," he said. "We'll get to learn what it means to be a veteran and hear things from his perspective."

     Chalupa said the opening ceremony lasts about an hour.

     "After the speeches, we'll name off all the students who lost their lives in World War II," he said.

     Along with this, ROTC cadets will talk about each person individually,
he said.

     "Each time we read a poem about the person or what they did we'll lay a
flower on the cement stump with all of their names," he said.

     This is a custom held every 10 minutes, he said. Though the ceremony lasts about an hour, there is more involved in the event, Chalupa said.

     The Oak Grove consists of 29 oak trees that represent the ASU students who gave their lives fighting in World War II.

     "We have a cadet who has to guard the Memorial Oak Grove," he said.

     After the cadet is there 30 minutes, a new one will take his or her place, he said.

     "I helped guard the memorial last year," Chhith said. "I was glad I volunteered and thought it was really honorable."

     The vigil of the Oak Grove will continue until midnight, Chalupa said.

     Overall, the event is a humbling experience, he said.

     "It's one of the reasons I wanted to join the honors society (AAS)," he said.  

     The Veterans' Vigil helps the detachment show its appreciation, he said

     "I feel that this is a great way to show the veterans that we do care," he said. "It's a way to show that they will not be forgotten."

     The event is open to anyone who would like to attend.

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