John Shiffert, director of university relations for Clayton State University, said that, on the heels of the ten-year anniversary of Sept. 11, the university will join a nationwide, grass-roots effort to honor the men and women who have lost their lives serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He added that the effort is in conjunction with Remembrance Day National Roll Call, which is sponsored, nationally, by the Veterans Knowledge Community of NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education,
NASPA, said Shiffert, is a 12,000-member association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs professionals.
“The Veterans Knowledge Community’s (VKC) mission is to advocate for best-practices to help student veterans transition to college and succeed. “As the National Roll Call sponsor, the goal of VKC is to have at least one institution in each of the 50 states participate in the event,” Shiffert said.
On Nov. 11, during Veterans’ Day, the university will “sign-on” with more than 100 colleges and universities across the nation, and will read the names of the 6,200-plus casualties of U. S. military actions known as: Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, which is now being called Operation New Dawn.
“We wanted to rally campus communities across the nation to send a powerful message to the troops currently serving, that their peers have not forgotten their sacrifices, or those of the fallen,” said Lt. Col. (Ret.) Brett Morris, the National Roll Call coordinator and the associate director for veterans affairs at Eastern Kentucky University.
“The reading of individual names is very poignant, because it emphasizes the significance of each and every life lost,” said Morris.
Shiffert said campus and community volunteers will read the names of local heroes. Each reader, he added, will read 200 names, in 15-minute increments. The entire reading is expected to take up to eight hours. It will begin at 8 .m., and end at about 4 p.m. The event will be held at the outdoor Lawson Amphitheater, located on Clayton State University’s main campus.
Shiffert said each college and university participating in the nationwide event will read its own list of heroes, on Veterans’ Day. And at 2 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, there will be a simultaneous, nationwide moment of silence, he said.
“Like the names inscribed at the new 9-11 Memorial in New York, each of the fallen deserve to be remembered for their sacrifice,” added Morris. “There is no effort to raise money or promote individual programs. The event is simply to honor those who have sacrificed so much on our behalf.”