UND ROTC cadets commemorate 9-11 with vigil


Jordan Cespedes

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UND ROTC cadets commemorate 9-11 with vigil

Lt. Col. Clarence L. Carroll IV, a Reserve Officer Training Corps commander at the University of North Dakota, has vivid recollections of the events that took place on Sept. 11, 2001, and the years of military actions that followed.

But for young UND cadets – future military leaders of our nation -- the stories of that solemn day are more second-hand.

"The average college student doesn't have a vivid memory of 9-11," Carroll said. "This year's freshmen class was in Kindergarten when it happened. And that one event drove us to war on three continents."

The young cadets may not have the indelible images of the infamous terrorist attacks etched in their minds like older generations, but they are no less committed to making sure the memories of those who died that day never fade from our collective conscience.

That's why in recent years UND ROTC cadets have been standing guard in silent vigils to commemorate the occasion and the lives cut short. This year was no different.

"A vigil is our generation's way of paying respect to the people who lost their lives during the attack on our country," said Carroll, who also holds the title of professor of military science at UND.

On Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014 – 13 years after the terrorist attacks that started it all -- members of the UND ROTC stood guard for an hour at a time under the flag poles in front of the Union. Each hour began with a change-of-the-guard ceremony.

There were five shifts, three of which were covered by cadets from the Army ROTC and the other two were covered by cadets from Air Force ROTC.

The vigil was put together and commanded by Army ROTC Cadet Travis Parker.The cadets who participated were volunteer members from various ROTC color guard teams.

"(ROTC cadets) are training to be commissioned officers and this helps instill in them a feeling for giving back to the community," said Carroll.

The UND Memorial Union, itself, was a fitting location for the vigil in that it was built and dedicated to UND students and faculty who've served and died as members of the U.S. military in times of armed conflict.

Quite simply, the vigil reminded passers-by that this day was not just any other day, but a day to remember those who died in the terrorist attack on our country.

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