On Monday, 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, located at 601 Drillfield Dr., to recognize all veterans and to honor the service Virginia Tech men and women have given our nation. All are invited to attend this special ceremony.
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Willey 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. Willey served more than 30 years in the U.S. Army. He joined the Corps of Cadets staff as the Battalion Training NCO for First Battalion this fall.
At 11 a.m. the wreath will be placed in front of the cenotaph on Memorial Court. The Gregory Guard, the Corps of Cadets precision rifle drill team, will fire a rifle salute, the Color Guard will present the colors, 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.
The student veterans group, Veterans@VT, will also honor the sacrifice of U.S. service members on Monday, when group members will take turns reading the names of those killed while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn. The reading will take place at the Pylons starting at 2 p.m. and will start with an opening speech and a moment of silence. It is expected to take more than five hours to read the names of the more than 6,600 men and women who have lost their lives in the conflicts.
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 up in front of Lane Hall, located at 280 Alumni Mall. The Color Guard will lower the flag, Skipper, the Corps of Cadets cannon, will fire, and the Highty-Tighties, the regimental band, will play.
This will be the last formation on the sidewalks that form a "VT" between Lane, Brodie, and Rasche Halls until construction on the new Corps of Cadets dorms are complete. The cadet regiment will hold formations behind Lane Hall for the duration of construction.
The corps will also be holding two vigil ceremonies to honor our nation’s veterans. The Robert Femoyer Service Squadron in Air Force ROTC, will be holding a 24-hour vigil at the Rock on Upper Quad from midnight Sunday, Nov. 10, to midnight Monday, Nov. 11. Two cadets will be posted as guards and will change every half an hour. Volunteers from the entire Corps of Cadets will take turns.
The second vigil will be located at the War Memorial. Echo Company will hold a 48-hour vigil from midnight Saturday, Nov. 9, to midnight Monday, Nov. 11. Two cadets will be posted as guards at the cenotaph and will change every hour. All current and many alumni of Echo Company will participate in the vigil.
All are welcome to come and view these ceremonies.
On Saturday, Nov. 9, the Citizen-Leader Track, known as VPI Battalion, the Highty-Tighties, the Color Guard, and the Gregory Guard will represent the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets as they march in the Virginia’s Veterans Parade in downtown Roanoke, Va. The parade will start at 11 a.m.
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 430 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.
Free parking is available in Perry Street Lots and the Perry Street Parking Garage near Prices Fork Road with a visitor’s pass. A visitor’s pass may be obtained Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Visitor Information Center, located at 965 Prices Fork Rd., near the intersection of Prices Fork Road and University City Boulevard next to the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. A visitor’s pass may also be obtained from the Virginia Tech Police Station, located at 330 Sterrett Dr., outside of the Visitor Information Center hours. Find more parking information online or call 540-231-3200.