Starting at 6 a.m. on Nov. 11, a long, solemn ceremony had begun on the dark, cold and windy grounds underneath the Bowman Hall Clock Tower. For the next nine hours, the names of the 6,306 service members who have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan echoed across the campus.
Sergeant 1st Class Greg L. Sutton, U.S. Army. Sergeant Matthew Soper, U.S. Army National Guard. Staff Sergeant Timothy B. Cole, U.S. Army…
Volunteer readers took turns reading from the list. ROTC cadets provided a flag detail at the beginning and end of the ceremony. At 1 p.m. a national minute of silence was held, followed by comments and reflections by Lieutenant Colonel Stout and Sergeant Bensend.
In his speech, Sergeant Bensend put it best: “They traded this life of luxury here for the streets of Baghdad, Samarra and Fallujah. They fought in the mountains and flatlands of the Kunar, Helmand and Kandahar provinces. They sweat, they bled and they ultimately fell. The families of the fallen carry a deep burden of grief that time will lighten, but never lift.” After that, the names continued to be read.
Senior Airman William N. Newman, U.S. Air Force. Sergeant Cory M. Endlich, U.S. Army. Airman 1st Class Eric M. Barnes, U.S. Air Force. Private Scott A. Miller, U.S. Army….
The significance of Nov. 11 is not only that it is Veterans Day, but it is also Armistice Day. In 1918 the Allies of WWI and Germany signed the Armistice. WWI did not end from the unconditional surrender of or the complete destruction of one side, but of a cease fire. After WWI, many of the Allied countries marked Nov. 11 as a national holiday, Remembrance Day. After WWII, the United States changed it to Veterans Day.
Specialist Adam G. Herold, U.S. Army. Corporal Meresebang Ngiraked, U.S. Army. Corporal Llythaniele Fender, U.S. Army. Staff Sergeant Brian M. Long, U.S. Army….
This year, Veterans Day also marks the 10th year of combat since Sept. 11. Along with the University of Wisconsin-Stout, 182 schools held a similar ceremony for the national event, Remembrance Day National Roll Call. The names from the over 6,000 war dead were listed chronologically.
In his speech, Sergeant Bensend closed with, “To our friends and fallen comrades, your lives meant the world to us. May we always be humbly grateful to the brave among us… who suffered and sacrificed… for the liberties and freedoms of all Americans.”