November 09, 2020

SIU to hold traditional Veterans Day vigil, with safety precautions

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois University Carbondale this week will again remember those who have served the country with a time-honored tradition on Veterans Day, while also taking necessary COVID-19 safety precautions.

This year’s vigil will take place from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11, at the flagpole outside Woody Hall. Both Air Force and Army ROTC cadets will stand a silent vigil throughout this time, with a changing of the guard every 15 minutes.

In a break with tradition, officials are not planning a large formal ceremony this year due to COVID-19 mitigation practices, said Lt. Col. Jarrad D. Glasenapp, professor of military science at SIU.

“But we do invite the public to witness the laying of the Veterans Day wreath at 11:11 a.m. by both the Army and Air Force cadet leadership,” Glasenapp said.

The ceremony is in honor of those who served the country and the fallen who have yet to return. Veterans Day, originally known as “Armistice Day,” became a national holiday in 1938. The day honors the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month that saw the end of World War I in 1918. 

Veterans Day honors all U.S. veterans and the many sacrifices made in the preservation of the nation. The annual tradition of honoring veterans at SIU dates back to at least 1981.

For more information on the vigil, contact Glasenapp at 618-453-7560 or 618-203-2049, or at jarrad.glasenapp@siu.edu.