Sunrise to sunset: Reading names of 7,000 service members

Joey Wagner

Undeterred by the below-freezing temperatures and snow, the Student Veteran Organization honored its student-veterans this Veteran’s Day at Colorado State University by participating in the National Roll Call.  

“National Roll Call is an opportunity for staff, administration, faculty members, community members and traditional-aged students … to come together and honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” said senior psychology major Josh Johnson, a student-veteran, SVO president and peer adviser in the Adult Learner and Veteran Services office.

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Volunteers read off the names of approximately 7,000 United States service members who have lost their lives on duty since Sept. 11, 2001. The names were provided by Eastern Kentucky University, the headquarters for the National Roll Call.

Some of the readers from the event included Mike Ellis, the assistant vice president for Student Affairs and executive director of the Lory Student Center; Tom Satterly, the associate vice president for Facilities Management; Rep. Joe Neguse; Jody Donovan, the assistant vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students; John Henderson, the assistant dean of students and director of Parent and Family Programs; John Kefalas, the Larimer County commissioner for District 1; and Lt. Col. Adam Jung, the operations officer for Air Force ROTC.

In order to participate, universities were required to engage in the nationwide “minute of silence” and conduct the reading of names.

To honor publicly the people who have fallen, the people who have given their service, and to say it out loud, it kind of continues their legacy.” -Kate Burgess, singer of the national anthem, National Roll Call

The CSU community was invited to place flags in honor of friends or family who have served in the military, and by the event’s closing, hundreds of flags dotted the grass outside the LSC. The community was also given the opportunity to write letters to veterans.

The ceremony lasted from 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and involved the national anthem, sung by environmental leadership major and graduate student Kate Burgess, the posting of the colors by the Wing Walker Honor Guard, a nationwide minute of silence at noon and the reading of the names.

The ceremony concluded with the retiring of the colors.

To be able to have their names heard, to have the respect along with it and ceremony, it helps to honor those that gave their life.” -Ryan Kropp, student-veteran, peer adviser in ALVS

“To honor publicly the people who have fallen, the people who have given their service, and to say it out loud, it kind of continues their legacy,” said Burgess, who read names after singing the national anthem.

President Joyce McConnell was unable to attend the National Roll Call but requested a written statement be read on her behalf.

“While I am unable to be there today to join you in the roll call and pay my respects in person, I join you in spirit, honoring the sacrifices of the brave individuals who have laid down their lives for our country and in thanking all of those who have served in our country’s military,” read a portion of the statement spoken by Marc Barker, the director of the ALVS.

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Maggie Walsh, the SVO adviser, manager of communications for campus operations and engagement and reader at the event, spoke to why she believes National Roll Call is important.

“I think it’s important to say the names out loud,” Walsh said. “I think it’s important to remember those who have died by saying their names.”

Ryan Kropp, a sophomore social work major, student-veteran and peer adviser in the ALVS, agreed with Walsh.

“A lot of people in the military have lost friends that they’ve been stationed with or (have) known over time in the military,” Kropp said. “And to be able to have their names heard, to have the respect along with it and ceremony, it helps to honor those that gave their life.”

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  • Colorado State University student Aryn Cummings plants a flag handed out by the Student Veterans Organization in the grass near the plaza Nov. 11. The event was held to honor Veterans Day and the 7,003 United States military members that have died since Sept. 11, 2001. The SVO also read a roll call of all the names of the fallen, had a Celebrating Gratitude table for writing letters to veteran community members and partook in the national moment of silence at noon. (Matt Tackett | The Collegian)

  • President of the Student Veterans Organization Josh Johnson pauses for the Veterans Day moment of silence on the plaza Nov. 11. The SVO read the 7,003 names of United States military members that have died since Sept. 11, 2001, handed out flags to plant in the grass and had a Celebrating Gratitude table for writing letters to veteran community members. (Matt Tackett | The Collegian)

  • Larimer County Commissioner John Kefalas reads names of fallen service members for Veterans Day on Nov. 11. Kefalas, who has a son that served in the United States Army for 20 years, said “it was a very important, respectful, solemn event” (Ryan Schmidt | The Collegian)

  • Colorado State University student Victoria Oliu writes a letter at the Celebrating Gratitude table set up inside the Lory Student Center for writing letters to veteran community members on Veterans day, Nov. 11. Outside on the plaza members of the Student Veterans Organization handed out flags to plant in the grass, read the 7,003 names of United States military members that have died since Sept. 11, 2001 and partook in the national moment of silence at noon. (Matt Tackett | The Collegian)

  • Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corp member Abigail Waugh hands out flags for students to place in the plaza on Nov 11. Waugh said, “we’re handing out the flags to memorialize all those who have fallen since 9/11” and that each flag represents a service member. (Ryan Schmidt | The Collegian)

  • Colorado State University professor Scott Nissen plants a flag handed out by the Student Veterans Organization in the grass near the plaza Nov. 11. The event was held to honor Veterans Day and the 7,003 United States military members that have died since Sept. 11, 2001. The SVO also read a roll call of all the names of the fallen, had a Celebrating Gratitude table for writing letters to veteran community members and partook in the national moment of silence at noon. (Matt Tackett | The Collegian)

  • Colorado State University student Giuseppe “Joey” Forni reads a list of names on the Plaza during the roll call of fallen military members Nov. 11. The event was held to honor Veterans Day and the 7,003 United States military members that have died since Sept. 11, 2001. The Student Veterans Organization also handed flags to passersby to plant in the grass around the plaza, had a Celebrating Gratitude table for writing letters to veteran community members and partook in the national moment of silence at noon. (Matt Tackett | The Collegian)

  • Director of the Adult Learner and Veteran Services at Colorado State University Marc Barker reads a list of names on the Plaza during the roll call of fallen military members Nov. 11. The event was held to honor Veterans Day and the 7,003 United States military members that have died since Sept. 11, 2001. The Student Veterans Organization also handed flags to passersby to plant in the grass around the plaza, had a Celebrating Gratitude table for writing letters to veteran community members and partook in the national moment of silence at noon. (Matt Tackett | The Collegian)

  • Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps member Abigail Waugh hands out flags for students to place in The Plaza for Veterans Day Nov. 11. Waugh said, “We’re handing out the flags to memorialize all those who have fallen since 9/11” and that each flag represents a service member. (Ryan Schmidt | The Collegian)

  • Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corp member Abigail Waugh hands out flags for students to place in the plaza for Veterans Day on Nov 11. Waugh said, “we’re handing out the flags to memorialize all those who have fallen since 9/11” and that each flag represents a service member. (Ryan Schmidt | The Collegian)

  • Colorado State University student Christian Norris plants a flag handed out by the Student Veterans Organization in the grass near the plaza Nov. 11. The event was held to honor Veterans Day and the 7,003 United States military members that have died since Sept. 11, 2001. The SVO also read a roll call of all the names of the fallen, had a Celebrating Gratitude table for writing letters to veteran community members and partook in the national moment of silence at noon. (Matt Tackett | The Collegian)

  • Assistant Chief of Staff & Director, Veteran Initiatives at Colorado State University Maggie Walsh reads a list of names on the Plaza during the roll call of fallen military members Nov. 11. The event was held to honor Veterans Day and the 7,003 United States military members that have died since Sept. 11, 2001. The Student Veterans Organization also handed flags to passersby to plant in the grass around the plaza, had a Celebrating Gratitude table for writing letters to veteran community members and partook in the national moment of silence at noon. (Matt Tackett | The Collegian)

  • Flags placed by students in the plaza for Veterans Day on Nov. 11. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corp member Abigail Waugh said, “we’re handing out the flags to memorialize all those who have fallen since 9/11” and that each flag represents a service member. (Ryan Schmidt | The Collegian)

  • Colorado State University student Haley Schulz plants a flag handed out by the Student Veterans Organization in the grass near the plaza Nov. 11. The event was held to honor Veterans Day and the 7,003 United States military members that have died since Sept. 11, 2001. The SVO also read a roll call of all the names of the fallen, had a Celebrating Gratitude table for writing letters to veteran community members and partook in the national moment of silence at noon. (Matt Tackett | The Collegian)

  • Fort Collins community member and United States Navy Veteran Seth Knight holds up a sign to encourage people passing through the plaza to take part in the moment of silence at noon on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. Inside the Lory Student Center, a Celebrating Gratitude table set up for writing letters to veteran community members while on the plaza members of the Student Veterans Organization handed out flags to plant in the grass, read the 7,003 names of United States military members that have died since Sept. 11, 2001 and partook in the national moment of silence at noon. (Matt Tackett | The Collegian)

  • Jacob Eppers puts a flag down in the plaza while thinking about his grandfather on Veterans Day, Nov 11. Eppers said his grandfather was “in the air force so… I always think about him on certainly these days but all the time” (Ryan Schmidt | The Collegian)

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Joey Wagner can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @joeyleewagner.