Twelve members of Central Washington University’s Air Force ROTC detachment will conduct an annual 24-hour vigil on Monday in honor of the nation’s military personnel who are missing in action and prisoners of war.

The solemn vigil takes place beginning midnight Sunday and continues for 24 hours to midnight Monday, according to Air Force ROTC Cadet Wing Commander Alex Lauer. He said the 12 cadets involved are part of the senior class.

A memorial will be set up in front of CWU’s McConnell Hall on University Way.

The memorial consists of a small table with a white cloth and one chair propped up against it. The table is set for one person with a plate and overturned wine glass.

The plate has a slice of lemon and a small pile of salt. There is a candle and a single red rose. Each of these items have a specific meaning related to POWs and MIAs.

Taking shifts

Cadets, in shifts, will stay at attention with a rifle near the table.

A nearby tent will be set up for other cadets who are coming off their vigil shifts or preparing for shifts.

Those walking by are asked to not talk to or disturb the cadet at attention, but questions or comments can be made to the other nearby cadets, Lauer said.

The Senior Vigil is the senior cadets’ opportunity to pay homage to those who have served before them and to help the public be more aware of the sacrifices made by the nation’s military personnel through the country’s history, Lauer added.

“We challenge the community to take time to think about what Veterans Day means to them as well as the toll in lives required to protect this free nation,” Lauer said.

Those driving by are encouraged to show their support by briefly honking or waving.

For more information, call 963-2314.


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