November 6, 2009 — ROTC cadets and midshipmen will mark Veterans Day with a ceremony Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. on the north steps of the University of Virginia's Rotunda.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Mark Delp will give the keynote address, speaking about veterans and his own experiences. The Alexandria native graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He served in an armored unit in West Germany and as a detachment commander in Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha, and led multiple missions in the Middle East.
Delp studied Arabic and French at the Defense Language Institute, served in Tunisia, and received a master's degree in national security affairs from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., specializing in the Middle East. Delp is currently assigned to the National Ground Intelligence Center, where he provides analysis on the Middle East and Africa.
Air Force ROTC Cadet Dan Brown will introduce the guests and Air Force Cadet Molly Fobes, a student at Liberty University, will lead the benediction. The Air Force ROTC drill team will present an original drill routine.
"These servicemen and women have risked their lives to serve their country," Air Force Cadet Andrew Keith said. "As we continue to be involved in conflict overseas, it will be even more important to properly remember our veterans and provide them with the support and respect they deserve."
All cadets and midshipmen in U.Va.'s Army, Air Force and Naval ROTC programs – which also include students from other nearby colleges and universities – will attend, as will representatives of local veterans groups. J. Kevin Lavin, president of the local chapter of the Air Force Association, and representatives of American Legion Post 74 have also been invited.
Veterans Day was created by President Woodrow Wilson as Armistice Day to honor the treaty that ended the First World War. Celebrated on Nov. 11, it was renamed Veteran's Day in 1954, after World War II and the Korean conflict, to honor American veterans of all wars.
For information, call 703-888-7076.