On December 5th, the corps-of-cadets, chaperones, and their military instructor boarded two charter buses and headed to our nation’s capital. The purpose of the trip was to provide the cadets an opportunity to visit our national monuments that pay tribute to our military veterans and to participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers in Arlington National Cemetery.
Their first stop was at the WW II memorial. The cadets were impressed with the memorial and reflected quietly as they read the many quotations inscribed on the walls of the site by military and civilian leaders of that time. Next the cadets made the short trip to Arlington National Cemetery. Their chaperones discussed with them some of the unique features of the cemetery and notable persons interred at Arlington. At 1:00 p.m. the cadets assembled at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers for the wreath laying ceremony. Four cadets, one from each cadet class, were selected to represent the corps in the wreath laying. After a briefing by a Tomb Guard, Cadets Tamarya Cook, Joshua Sacra, Jordan Chittick, and Brandon Paxton proceeded to lay a wreath on behalf of the corps in remembrance of all soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Taps was sounded after the wreath was presented. After the ceremony, Cadet Chittick, a second year cadet said, “Today is a day I’ll never forget, it was an honor to have been selected to participate in this moving ceremony.”
The last stop of the day was a visit to the Vietnam Memorial and the Women’s Vietnam Memorial. Many cadets and chaperones had family or friends whose names were etched on the wall. Of interest to all were the mementoes from loved ones left at the base of the panels. The cadets returned home with a deep appreciation for the enormous sacrifice of our service members and how a most grateful nation remembers.