On Tuesday Nov. 11 at 6 p.m., the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will hold a formal retreat ceremony at the flag pole on the upper quad of Virginia Tech's main campus in Blacksburg, Va.
The regiment will be formed between Lane, Brodie, and Rasche Halls. The corps Color Guard will lower the flag; Skipper, the corps cannon, will fire; the Highty-Tighties will play; and the Gregory Guard, the corps rifle drill team, will perform a rifle salute.
In addition, the corps will be holding two vigil ceremonies to honor our nation’s veterans. Arnold Air Society, in coordination with the cadet regiment, will be holding a 24-hour vigil at the Rock on the upper quad from midnight Monday to midnight Tuesday. Two cadets will be posted as guards and will change every hour.
The final two cadets standing vigil will be the two most senior-ranking cadets, the regimental commander, Cadet Colonel Adnan Barqawi of Kuwait City, Kuwait, a senior majoring in management in the Pamplin College of Business, and the regimental executive officer, Cadet Lieutenant Colonel James Nilan of Flint Hill, Va., a senior majoring in political science in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.
The second vigil will be located at the War Memorial Pylons. Echo Company will hold a 48-hour vigil from midnight Sunday to midnight Tuesday. Two cadets will be posted as guards at the cenotaph and will change every hour. All current members of Echo as well as alumni Army Second Lieutenant Nick Nelson and Coast Guard Reservist Patrick Meier will participate in the vigil. Nelson and Meier are both Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumni, Class of 2008.
“Aside from the detail leader calling commands, the vigil is silent,” says Echo Company Commander Cadet Major Richard Fraenkel of Chesapeake, Va., a senior majoring in statistics in the College of Science. “Cadets are encouraged to use the time to think about the sacrifices of the men and women who have gone before them. Juniors and seniors who have participated in the past are eager to sign up for multiple shifts -- it is a truly moving experience.”
At the end of this vigil, Fraenkel will give a short motivational speech to the entire company about Veteran’s Day and what it means.
“I believe this vigil is the single most important thing that Echo Company does every year and it helps to set up apart from other companies. More importantly, it is a solid experience for our cadets to think about what is the right thing for them to do in life,” notes Fraenkel.
All are welcome to attend these ceremonies.
The Rock is a memorial to Virginia Tech alumni lost in World War I and is located next to the flag pole on the 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 (That I May Serve). The Pylons are etched with the names of every Virginia Tech student and graduate who has died in the line of duty. At the memorial’s center, the cenotaph displays the names of Virginia Tech’s seven Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.