University of Portland hosts Veterans Day 24-hour vigil and commemoration ceremony on Friday, November 11

November 8, 2016

The University of Portland hosts its annual 24-hour vigil in honor of Veterans Day, concluding with a commemoration ceremony on Friday, November 11, at 11 a.m., at the Praying Hands/Broken Wall Memorial on the campus’s East Quad. The event recognizes campus members who have served their nation during times of war, including World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and Gulf War veterans.

The 24-hour vigil will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 10, at the memorial, which honors veterans from several wars and their sacrifice for our nation. One Air Force and one Army cadet, representing the University of Portland’s two ROTC programs, will stand watch over the memorial until the beginning of the Veterans Day Ceremony at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, November 11. The timing is significant because that is when the armistice was signed, ending World War I (11:11, on November 11, 1918).

The ceremony includes guest speaker Matthew Robinson, a veteran who served six years in the Oregon Army National Guard, deploying to Baghdad, Iraq, in 2004. Now an author, Robinson was recently awarded a 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship Award for Fiction. His current collection of stories, The Horse Latitudes, follows one Cavalry platoon’s time in Baghdad.

The ceremony will conclude with the playing of Taps and a traditional 21-gun salute to those who have fallen in the line of duty.

Praying Hands Memorial
The original memorial was built by the University’s Class of 1948 and contained bricks inscribed with the names of the 69 University of Portland students killed in service during WWII.  Later the memorial was expanded to include other wars and conflicts in which American service members and University of Portland students served, including in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf Wars. The memorial now contains the names of 80 University of Portland students who lost their lives in service to the country.  Their service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Although some have paid the ultimate sacrifice during their service, Veteran’s Day is a celebration of anyone who wore the uniform in defense of our nation.

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