men, in uniform, folding a flag

November 08, 2021

SIU plans Veterans Day commemoration

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois University Carbondale will publicly commemorate Veterans Day with the annual vigil at the flagpole near the center of campus.

This year’s Nov. 11 Veterans Day event marks the 40th anniversary of the flagpole vigil, which began in 1981. The event, organized by SIU’s ROTC programs, honors SIU and Southern Illinois veterans who served their country in the U.S. armed forces.

This year’s vigil will start at 6:30 a.m. at the Old Main Flagpole, just south of Woody Hall. ROTC cadets from SIU’s Air Force and Army detachments will stand silent vigil throughout the day, changing shifts every 15 minutes, until 5 p.m.  The vigil runs roughly from sunrise to sunset.

At 11 a.m., Air Force and Army ROTC members will hold a wreath-laying ceremony at the flag pole. Lt. Col. Jessica Dwyer, SIU ROTC commander, will make brief welcoming remarks, followed by Paul Copeland, SIU veterans services coordinator, who will make introductions. Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry will then read a proclamation, followed by a keynote address by Meera Komarraju, SIU provost.

The wreath-laying, a bugler playing “Taps” and remarks by a cadet emcee will close the ceremony.

SIU is committed to protecting the community, so all those attending this event must follow current campus and state pandemic safety protocols.