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ROTC cadets honor those who served before them

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siu changing guard

CARBONDALE (WSIL) -- Southern Illinois Students hoping for a future in the military, honor the service members who came before them. 

The Army and Air Force ROTC held their hours-long Veterans Day vigil where every 15 minutes there was a changing of the guard, as well as, a wreath laying ceremony at 11:11. 

Michael Page, who is the Cadet Battalion Commander for the Army ROTC, also says the wreath represents all branches of the military so all can veterans can be included in the ceremony.

While many other Veterans Day events were canceled in the region, this one did continue on but with changes.

The public was invited to watch the wreath laying portion of the ceremony, but it was simplified this year and is usually a much bigger event.

On top of that, a changing of the guard typically happens every 15 minutes throughout a 24-hour period but again that was reduced to 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Page, who is working toward a master's degree, adds what matter is that he and the other cadets were able to keep the tradition going.

"I think it's a demonstration of some of the characteristics and ideals of the armed services to adapt and overcome," he explains. "We're all wearing masks, we're socially distanced. "We changed our schedule ,so its not a 24-hour event to make the social distancing on campus."

Altogether around 100 cadets took part in the Veterans Day ceremony, which dates back to at least 1981.

Brooke Schlyer

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