Utah State University’s Air Force ROTC cadets are hosting a vigil on its Quad to honor prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action.
The vigil began Thursday and continues for 24 hours until Friday at 5 p.m. The four-day tribute involves cadets each marching an hour-long shift.
As the cadets walk in full uniform and carrying a military-issued rifle, they are asked to think of one or two names of prisoners of war or missing in action soldiers, an article states on the university's website.
The vigil also invites all Americans to honor fallen soldiers before Veterans’ Day by talking a small flag made available on the grounds where the cadets' march.
The tradition of the ROTC program conducting the vigil has spanned three decades. Cadet Ty Johnston, a senior in the program, organized this year’s vigil and stated in the USU article:
A lot of times when we talk about the military, we think of being very stoic, we call it military bearing, you know, no emotion, very plain face, very rigid. But on the inside, it's important that they know that they have a brotherhood and a place they can turn to.
Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938.
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