NOTE: Due to rain in the forecast, the start of the vigil is postponed until 9 a.m. on Nov. 13. It will conclude as scheduled that afternoon.
Cadets and midshipmen from all three branches of the University of Virginia’s ROTC program will conduct a 24-hour vigil starting at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 12 and ending at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 13 with a Veterans Day ceremony. The event will take place on the north steps of the Rotunda.
The vigil and ceremony continue to be a highly anticipated and inspiring event to honor prisoners of war, service members missing in action and veterans – recognizing those American men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving our country.
During the vigil, cadets from the Air Force, Navy and Army ROTC units will march in half-hour shifts. Cadets will also staff information stations to explain the vigil and why it is important to honor veterans.
“I look forward to these two events every year,” said Air Force ROTC Cadet Amber Fauber, a third-year biochemistry major in the College of Arts & Sciences who is helping to plan and organize the ceremony. “We live in the greatest country in the world protected by the greatest people in the world. I feel that in the midst of our daily lives we forget to take a moment to remember why we are so privileged.”
The Veterans Day ceremony will include a keynote address by U.S. Air Force Col. Bryan H. Cannady, who is currently serving as an Air Force Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. Cannady has commanded Special Tactics forces at the flight and squadron level on combat missions during operations Provide Comfort, Desert Thunder, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
Cannady graduated from U.Va.’s School of Engineering and Applied Science with a degree in computer science and received his commission in 1994 through U.Va.’s Air Force ROTC program. He entered the combat control pipeline in 1995, where he acquired skills as a basic parachutist, military freefall parachutist and combat diver.
The Veterans Day event will open with the national anthem sung by a cadet from each ROTC branch, followed by an invocation presented by Arnold Air Society Chaplain Cadet Brett Goodwin, a third-year engineering major.
Prior to Cannady’s address, Air Force ROTC Wing Commander Cadet Erika Karls, a fourth-year biochemistry major, will provide welcoming remarks. The event will and end with a volley of fire, followed by the playing of “Taps” by Kyle Ruempler, a third-year music major in the College.
“My hope is that this vigil and ceremony will give everyone an opportunity to stop and reflect on their freedom and why they have it in the first place,” Fauber said.