For Terre Haute's Junior and Senior Army and Air Force ROTC units, standing 24-hour guard over the monuments memorializing the sacrifices of military veterans at the Vigo County courthouse is a warmly and eagerly embraced honor.
As in years' past, a combined effort by the Army and Air Force ROTC units in the Terre Haute area will feature Junior and Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets maintaining a silent vigil.
However, this years' upcoming Veterans Day Vigil Ceremony, held annually at the Vigo County courthouse, will include the greatly expanded participation of the young men and women who compose the Wabash Valley's ROTC units.
In years' past, Junior and Senior ROTC cadets have stood vigil over the courthouses' monuments as part of Veteran's Day observances. This year, however, marks the first time the units are not only participating in the opening ceremony, but are also an integral part of the planning process for the ceremony itself, in addition to standing 24-hour guard.
"Not only does this Veterans Day Vigil ceremony bring together young people from area high schools and colleges to honor veterans, but it also provides an excellent leadership development opportunity to plan, prepare and execute a large scale event," LTC Samuel Peffers, commander of the Army Senior ROTC battalion at Rose-Hulman and Indiana State University, said.
Every year, the Army and Air Force ROTC units alternate responsibility for coordinating the vigil.
This year, the event is being planned by the Army ROTC.
Senior ROTC is a collegiate level leadership development program that prepares area college students to commission as military officers after graduation. Junior ROTC is a high school program focused on citizenship, character building and civic responsibility.