Nine years ago, Eastern Kentucky University spearheaded a new grass-roots national effort to honor American soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It will revive that campus tradition on Wednesday, Nov. 11, with its participation in the 2020 National Roll Call and a simultaneous, nationwide “moment of silence,” along with a Veterans Day ceremony.
“Eastern Kentucky University has long served as a national leader in veterans’ education, consistently ranking in the top 10 percent “Best for Vets” public universities nationwide and number one in Kentucky, as well as being the only Military Friendly School in Kentucky with Gold status,” noted Barbara Kent, director of military and veterans affairs at Eastern and an Army veteran. “EKU and its leadership truly values and embraces our student veterans and their families, providing services and opportunities to engage and assist in their transition to they can be successful in their academic goals, so they may go on to serve other veterans and their communities. Our annual National Roll Call not only honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice, but it is an opportunity for our campus and local community to participate and show their dedication and support for our veterans. What makes this event even more special this year is that it will be held at Powell Corner, just outside our newly dedicated VETS Center in Powell Student Center, the largest space dedicated to veteran and military students in the Commonwealth.”
Eastern is asking volunteers to participate in the roll call, scheduled from 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Powell Corner on campus, by signing up to read the names of the fallen. Each volunteer is given a 15-minute time slot and 120 names to read; when the name of a Kentucky service member is read, a bell is rung in their honor. To sign up to participate in the roll call, visit http://va.eku.edu/roll-call-volunteers-eku and fill out the form. Anyone with questions about the roll call may also contact Debra Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org. Many other campuses nationwide are participating in the roll call.
The entire campus is asked to participate in the nationwide moment of silence at 8 a.m. EST.
Then, at 1:30 p.m., EKU Army ROTC will host a Veterans Day ceremony at the Memorial Wall adjacent to the Wallace Building on campus (rain site is Weaver Gym). The ceremony will feature remarks from Col. Scott Thomas, an EKU Army ROTC alumnus. The campus community is invited to attend.
Eastern is home to nearly 1,500 veterans, active duty service members, Reserve/National Guard members, and military spouses and children. For more information about services available to them, visit va.eku.edu, or contact the Military and Veterans Affairs office at EKUVeteransAffairs@eku.eduor 859-622-2345.