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ROTC units observe Veterans Day

John Tierney | Friday, November 9, 2007

Cadets from all four branches of the Notre Dame ROTC program will join forces today for their annual Veterans Day ceremony to honor the nation’s fallen veterans.

University President Emeritus Father Theodore Hesburgh will speak at the ceremony, which will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Clarke Memorial Fountain, more commonly known as Stonehenge. It will be preceded by a 24-hour vigil kept over the memorial by cadets.

“All four services will stand guard at the Clarke Memorial in respect to the veterans and those who have paid the ultimate price and made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Lt. Col. Löwen Braue, assistant professor of aerospace studies.

The 24-hour vigil, which began at 4 p.m. Thursday, is divided into half-hour shifts. Four cadets, one from each branch of the ROTC program, will man each shift. A total of 152 cadets are scheduled to participate in the vigil.

Today’s ceremony will be led by the Air Force ROTC and will begin with an invocation in memory of veterans of past and present wars. Father Peter Rocca, the Basilica rector and the campus military chaplain, will lead the invocation. Leaders from the ROTC program and Hesburgh, the ceremony’s guest speaker, will be introduced following the ceremony.

The ceremony will also feature a playing of “Taps” to “remember our fallen heroes,” Braue said.

The ceremony will last approximately 30 minutes and will conclude with a benediction delivered by Rocca.

The Veterans Day ceremony is an annual ROTC tradition at Notre Dame. In case of rain, it will be moved from the Clarke Memorial to the Carey Auditorium in the Hesburgh Library and will begin at the same time.