NAU holds annual roll call ceremony in honor of veterans


By Kendra Straub

Heather Bleuer (Cadet Captain), Dennis Lynn (Cadet Lieutenant Colonel) and Zach Jones (Cadet 3rd Class) stand and listen as the names of fallen soldiers are read at the Health and Learning Center on Veterans Day. (Photo by Holly Mandarich)

Northern Arizona University (NAU) hosted Remembrance Day Roll Call on Veterans Day, Nov. 12, in the Health and Learning Center. The ceremony consisted of veterans, current soldiers and ROTC cadets, with help from local civilian volunteers, to remember veterans. The event consisted of reading the 319 names of veterans who have been lost over the past year.

“Last year, the National Roll Call Committee had this event in honor of the 10th veterans day post 9/11,” said Todd Carlson, program coordinator of Sr. Veteran Affairs of Flagstaff’s Veteran Center. “We read all 6,313 names of those who were lost and this year we decided to read the names of those who had passed since last year.”

“I thought it was a great opportunity for NAU students to pay their respects to those who have lost their life while fighting for freedom,” said Averi Richert, a freshman chemistry major and cadet fourth-class for ROTC Air Force.

More than 108 universities participate in the Remembrance Day Roll Call. In 2011, NAU was the only school that participated in Arizona.

“Any time you get the opportunity to bring light to what veterans do and the sacrifices they make [is important],” Carlson said. “It’s important in a free society that we understand we are being kept free.”

“It is important that NAU students have the opportunity to show their appreciation,” Richert said.

NAU is home to more than 1,000 military-affiliated students. NAU students are members of the U.S. Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard.

In 2010, NAU opened the Office of Military and Veteran Affairs on campus, which is dedicated to helping military veterans. In 2012, NAU was named a military friendly school by GI Jobs magazine for the second year in a row.

Carlson felt the event was a success overall.

“The point was not to have a lot of numbers or people,” Carlson said. “The point was to honor the names we were reading. There were veterans there who found it very impactful. It important to remember that it’s more than names on paper it’s someone’s family member and loved one.”

“I think Veterans Day is very important especially when people are constantly at odds in so many ways,” Richert said. “Veterans Day is a way for us all to join together and just be grateful.”


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