COLUMBIA — The cold wind whipped the ROTC color guard’s flags as people gathered outside of Memorial Union for a ceremony honoring the fallen veterans of Missouri.
The Remembrance Day National Roll Call project is an initiative that aims to unite campuses nationwide in honoring veterans who have died. Schools from across the country made the pledge to participate in a simultaneous minute of silence as well as hosting a roll call of veterans.
At MU, the names of 140 veterans from Missouri who have died in service since Sep. 11, 2001, were read. The roll call took just under an hour.
The opening ceremony began at noon with Trista Corbin, a veteran and president of the Mizzou Student Veterans Association, addressing the small crowd of people gathered to watch the event before names were read.
"Let us take this time to remember the veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice," Corbin said before she and four other combat veterans began reading names.
The minute of silence was observed at 11 a.m. PST, 1 p.m. locally, just after the conclusion of the roll call.
"We know some of the individuals being read off the list, so it’s really an emotional day for us," Corbin said after the event.
Dawn Copeland, a student services adviser at the Veterans Center got the idea to bring this event to MU for the first time after hearing about Columbia College’s participation in the 2011 National Roll Call. She approached Corbin with the idea and they collaborated with an ongoing committee to make the event possible, Corbin said.
This year the event was a joint effort between MU and Columbia College, though it took place at MU, said Corbin.
In addition to remembering those who have died, the National Roll Call project has another major objective, Corbin said — to send a message to those still serving that those at home understand and honor the sacrifices they have made and continue to make.
Midshipman Robert Lass, a rifle bearer for the color guard and an MU student, volunteered to participate because it’s an opportunity to give back, he said.
"It’s just a little thing I can do for all they’ve done for me and a chance to remember those who came before us," Lass said.
Corbin hopes to add this event to the long list of MU traditions, with the expectation that it will grow every year both locally and nationally. She said that next year the committee will have to increase public awareness.
"It would be really nice if we could tell the families because we want them to know that their family member is being honored and that they will be honored every year regardless of when it happened or what branch they were," she said.
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