The Pylons at War Memorial Chapel are etched with the names of 430 Hokies who have died in the military since World War I.
Members of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets guarded over the names all weekend in honor of Veterans Day, honoring the school's strong military history and tradition.
“Starting at midnight on Friday, members of Echo Company and TC 2-1 stood guard at the Pylons in one hour shifts," said Mike Reilly, a junior civil engineering major and member of the corps. "The pylons were never left unguarded.”
Previous alumni of TC 2-1, or training company, were invited back to join in remembrance with Echo Company.
“In the middle of the war memorial is the cenotaph, which is the most important object on campus for cadets," Reilly said. "The cenotaph commemorates the seven alumni that have received the Congressional Medal of Honor, which is the highest award any soldier can receive in the military."
At midnight on Veterans Day, the entire company congregated there and held a vigil in remembrance of those who have passed, giving the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
The second way the corps remembered veterans this weekend is through the guarding of "the Rock" on upper quad. Members of the air force detachment and Arnold Air Society guarded the rock in 30-minute shifts.
“The Rock was built to remember the alumni that have served in WWI, which is also a very sacred monument to the corps,” Reilly said.
At the end of the day, the Corp’s Color Guard lowered the American flag, the cannon was fired and the Highty-Tighties performed.
“Veterans Day is important to me because it reminds me to be thankful of the people who died for country,” Reilly said. “Most of our veterans are forgotten and most people do not realize the mental and emotional stress soldiers go through in war, which is why the corps took great pride in the remembering our veterans this weekend.”
The company Reilly was in charge of raised $ 1,111.11 for the program Wounded Warriors, which raises money to help support injured service members. The company did 10 push-ups for every $1 dollar donated.
The corps also held a Veterans Day remembrance ceremony in the War Memorial Chapel yesterday, and the Vice President for the Division of Student Affairs, Patty Perillo, placed a memorial wreath in front of the cenotaph on Memorial Court.
The student veterans group, VETERANS@VT, also honored the sacrifice of U.S. service members on Monday with the Roll Call 2012
“The VETERANS@VT student veteran's organization participated in a nation-wide event in which we had a moment of silence at 2:00 pm and subsequently read all the names of those killed in action during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom,” said Eric Ambroz, president of VETERANS@VT.
VETERANS@VT helps welcome back veterans into academic life, helping them with any concerns they may have, including benefits and counseling opportunities. It also helps Tech administrators with programs that help facilitate the transition from active duty life to academic life.
Matthew Watson, a junior and member of the Corps talked about the importance of Veterans Day in his life.
“It is a day to look back at the military heritage within my family, which is part of the reason I am where I am today," he said. "Both of my parents served in the Army and were members of the Corps of Cadets at Norwich University, and my Great Grandfather served the Army in WWII.”
Le Mar Baliwag, a junior and member of the corps, said that Veterans Day holds an important place for members of the corp.
“In all honesty, everyday is Veterans Day for cadets at (Tech). We pay homage to those who dedicate their lives to this country in the past, present, and future,” Baliwag said. “I cannot wait to commission and fulfill my duty for this country.”