October 23, 2014  

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Air Force ROTC Cadets to Conduct Annual Veterans Vigil in Downtown Hattiesburg

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University of Southern Mississippi Air Force ROTC cadets will honor Hattiesburg area veterans in their annual 24-hour Veterans Vigil at the Hattiesburg Veterans Memorial Park from 10 a.m. Nov. 10 through 10 a.m. Nov. 11. 

Capt. Peter Beck, commandant of cadets for the Southern Miss Department of Aerospace Studies, compares the vigil to the guarding of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. 

“Every cadet in the Air Force ROTC program performs duty as a sentry guarding the memorial during the 24-hour period,” said Beck.

The cadets will also perform a Remembrance Ceremony at 7 p.m. Nov. 10 to individually commemorate each of the 171 veterans listed on the memorial. Each veteran’s name will be read aloud.

Immediately following the Veterans Vigil is the Hattiesburg Veterans Committee’s annual Veterans Day ceremony. The Veterans Committee exemplifies this event by naming its Veteran of the Year during the ceremony.

“The Veterans Day ceremony is largely intended to thank all living veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to national security are appreciated and to underscore the fact that all those who served, not only those who died, have sacrificed and done their duty,” Beck said. 

The Southern Miss Department of Aerospace Studies is hosting the vigil and ceremonies, which are all open to the public.

Hattiesburg Veterans Memorial Park is located in downtown Hattiesburg on the south side of Hardy St. between West Pine St. and West Front St. For more information, contact Captain Peter Beck at 601.266.4468 or peter.beck@usm.edu.