October 6, 2011

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Honors the Fallen with National Roll Call on Veterans Day


VALDOSTA -- On Veterans Day, Valdosta State University faculty, staff, and students will read the names of the 6,200-plus men and women who lost their lives in service to America in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom in the past decade. Valdosta-Lowndes County residents are invited to participate as readers.

The Remembrance Day National Roll Call event, sponsored by VSU’s chapter of Student Veterans of America (VSU Vets), will kick off at 8 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 11, in front of West Hall on the lawn. VSU Interim President Dr. Louis H. Levy will speak, and then the reading of the names will begin. The process is expected to last about six hours.

This year, Veterans Day, which falls on the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year, marks the 10th year of post Sept. 11 combat. The objective is to have students from at least one school in every state read all the names of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. To date, colleges and universities in 43 states plus the District of Columbia plan to participate. All of them will pause at the 11th hour, 11 a.m. Pacific Standard Time/2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, for a minute of silence.

“Reading each and every name of a fallen soldier highlights the importance of the individual lives lost,” said Mark A. Smith, a VSU senior, retired Air Force master sergeant, and president of VSU Vets. “We are privileged to help the nation remember their sacrifices. We are encouraging members of the VSU and Lowndes communities to join us as readers and volunteers for this memorable event.”

The Veterans Knowledge Community of NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education sponsors the Remembrance Day National Roll Call nationally. With more than 12,000 members in all 50 states, 29 countries, and eight United States territories, NASPA advocates for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession at colleges and universities. The Veterans Knowledge Community focuses its efforts on student veterans and ensuring that their unique needs are being met.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Brett Morris, Remembrance Day National Roll Call coordinator, said, “We wanted to rally campus communities across the nation to send a powerful message to the troops currently serving that their peers have not forgotten their sacrifices or those of the fallen.”

The names that will be read during the Remembrance Day National Roll Call have been recorded by icasualties.org.

VSU’s Adult Degree Completion & Military Programs is helping to coordinate the event.

For more information about the local Remembrance Day National Roll Call, contact Mark A. Smith, president of VSU’s chapter of Student Veterans of America and military and veteran liaison for VSU’s Adult Degree Completion & Military Programs, at (229) 253-2873 or AMP@valdosta.edu. Also on the Web: www.naspa.org and icasualties.org.

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