Air Force ROTC cadets at The University of Southern Mississippi will perform their annual 24-hour vigil at the Hattiesburg Veterans Memorial Park from 10 a.m., Nov. 10 through 10 a.m. Nov. 11 as part of Veterans Day festivities.
The vigil provides cadets with an opportunity to celebrate veterans from the Hattiesburg area. Vigil duty is similar to the guarding of the Tomb of the Unknowns 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 Jessica Richmond, Services Support Squadron Commander.
The cadets also perform a Remembrance Ceremony at 7 p.m. on Nov. 10 at which time the names of all 171 of the veterans listed on the memorial are read aloud for individual commemoration.
The veterans vigil will be followed immediately by the Hattiesburg Veterans Committee’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony. The ceremony is largely intended to thank all living veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our 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. The Veterans Committee exemplifies this by naming its Veteran of the Year during the ceremony.
Viewing the vigil and attendance to both ceremonies is open to the public. Hattiesburg Veterans Memorial Park is located in downtown Hattiesburg on the south side of Hardy Street between West Pine Street and West Front Street. For more information contact the Southern Miss Department of Aerospace at 601.266.4468.