Monday, November 12, 2012
Volunteers braved the soggy weather to honor fallen service members at the University of West Georgia’s 2nd annual National Roll Call Event today held in the heart of campus. Volunteer readers rotated every 20 minutes reading approximately 250 names each, taking 8 hours to read more than 6,000 names.
The event began with the color guard from American Legion Post 143 posting the colors and playing taps. Spectators heard opening remarks and testimonials from University of West Georgia’s veterans. After the opening ceremony, volunteers began the nation-wide simultaneous reading of "Operation Enduring Freedom" and "Operation Iraqi Freedom" casualty list and synchronized minute of silence across the United States at 2:00 p.m.
Here is the Remembrance Day pre-minute of silence speech read by Angie Wheelus:
Since 1775 nearly 2.5 million U.S. citizens have been killed or wounded in defense of the nation. Today it is imperative that we remember the sacrifices of those who have defended us through the years. As a nation we have been blessed by generation upon generation of patriots.
Today, we assemble together to honor those who have served and are serving in our nation’s Armed Forces and to remember the fallen who gave their all. Right now, thousands upon thousands are assembled on campuses and in communities across the nation, participating in the National Roll Call and will all simultaneously observe a nationwide “minute of silence.”
The Remembrance Day National Roll Call has from its inception had but one simple objective - to send a strong message to those serving in harm’s way. That message is – “your peers who are here studying under the umbrella of freedom you provide understand and honor your sacrifices and those of your fallen brethren.”
For our student veterans here today, the reading of the names may be a very poignant. Yet the recognition of each individual loss has meaning and reminds us that those who paid the ultimate sacrifice did so for us all, not a single community, county, or state - they fought, serve, and in some cases perished for us all. It is all together fitting and proper that the Roll Call be a nationwide effort.
President Lincoln gave us the best words when he called upon the nation to: “to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” His immortal words still ring true - Let us never forget what our veterans, living and dead, and what they have given for us all.
The annual event is sponsored by the Student Veterans Association of West Georgia in collaboration with Counseling & Career Development Center under the Prevent@UWG Mental Health Awareness Program. The National Roll Call is a nationally recognized event on college campuses around the nation - created by NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.
For more information about the National Roll Call, please contact Angie Wheelus at firstname.lastname@example.org or Bill Gentry at email@example.com. Follow the Student Veterans Association of West Georgia on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SVAUWG.