Southern Illinois University Carbondale will publicly commemorate Veterans Day with an 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.
The vigil will start at 6:30 a.m. at the Old Main Flagpole. 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.
Offcials said those attending the event are asked to follow current campus and state pandemic safety protocols.