November 05, 2010

Campus ceremony will mark Veterans Day

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Joseph L. Heimann will present the keynote address at a Veterans Day ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 11, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. at the Old Main Flagpole, near the southeast corner of Woody Hall, just beyond the circle intersection. The SIUC Air Force and Army Officer Reserve Training Corps hold the annual joint military ceremony.

Admission is free. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will move to Student Center Ballroom B. Phi Mu Alpha music fraternity will perform the National Anthem.

University offices are closed, and there are no classes Thursday in observance of Veterans Day.

Heimann commissioned through the Air Force ROTC in 1979 after graduating from SIUC with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

Jake Baggott, assistant to the chancellor at SIUC, will also offer remarks. Prior to being elevated to his current position in February, Baggott was associate director of the University’s Student Health Center, where he held numerous positions over 25 years.

Baggott lives in Cobden and earned three degrees from SIUC, including a master’s of legal studies-health law and policy from the School of Law.

Baggott’s military career includes service in the U.S. Army, and nearly 19 years with the Illinois Army National Guard prior to retiring as a first sergeant in July 2003.

The ceremony honors veterans of all American wars, conflicts and military operations.

For 24 hours preceding the ceremony, a combined operation of SIUC’s Army and Air Force ROTC will conduct a time-honored tradition honoring those who have served. Cadets will stand a silent vigil beginning at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 10, at the Old Main Flagpole in remembrance of the nation’s prisoners of war and those who remain missing in action. The guard changes every 15 minutes during the 24-hour period that runs until Thursday’s ceremony. Cadets will also participate in the ceremony.

Cadets will perform a 21-gun salute and provide color guard at the ceremony.

For more information on the observance, contact Brian J. Anderson with SIUC’s Air Force ROTC at 847/840-8027 or by email at