Memorial Day 2016
Brotherhood, Honor, Leadership, Sacrifice, Service, Loyalty, Duty, and Ut Prosim – 8 values, inscribed on 8 pylons of the War Memorial at Virginia Tech. Early on during New Cadet Week, all the freshmen are taken to the Pylons by their Cadre, and taught about the importance of the memorial. To this day, I remember listening to C/FSG Fensler telling us about the men who’s names were inscribed on them, men who gave their lives in service to their country.
Every memorial day, I try to take time to sit down and think about those men and women who have given their lives in service of our country. To many people they are just names, very rarely is there a face to a name. We see rows upon rows of headstones at cemeteries like Arlington, each one marking the burial place of someone’s loved one – fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. It wasn’t until i was a sophomore at Virginia Tech when I got to put a face to a name and I still remember that to this day. I remember the first time, the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets found out that one of their own had been killed in Iraq, Jeff Kaylor. i hadn’t known Jeff, he’d graduated the year before I joined the Corps, but it was clear how much everyone loved and respected him.
Tim Price, also a member of the Class of 2001, had just returned to Virginia Tech not long before his death to participate in the Warfighter’s Panel, hosted by the Corps of Cadets. This was one of the first of its kind and provided alumni an opportunity to come back to their alma mater and talk about their experiences in the military. I still remember the day we were told that Tim had been killed, for me that was really the first time the consequences of War hit home for me. Since then, more names have been added to the Pylons, both people I knew and didn’t know – but they all had that one thing in common, service before self. Ut Prosim, that I may serve, the motto of Virginia Tech Corp of Cadets.
So this day, Memorial day 2016, take a few minutes and just think about what this day is about and honor those who have given their lives in service of others.
You can read more about the Virginia Tech Pylons here