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October 21, 2011
By Natalie Savidge
Following the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, student veterans at the University of Nevada, Reno have joined a nationwide grass-roots effort, Remembrance Day National Roll Call, to honor American service men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade.
On Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11, local veterans, students, campus and community volunteers, including City of Reno Mayor Bob Cashell and University President Marc Johnson, area veterans and others will read the names of the 6,200-plus casualties of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, now called Operation New Dawn. Similar events are being planned by more than 150 colleges and universities across the nation.
The University of Nevada, Reno's Veteran Services Office, the Nevada Office of Veterans Services and the City of Reno have joined efforts to hold the event around the annual Veterans Day Parade. The reading of names will commence at 7 a.m. at Reno City Plaza in downtown Reno, and names will be read until 10:30 a.m., when readers will break for two hours during the parade. Each campus participating in the Remembrance Day National Roll will observe, at 11 a.m., a nationwide minute of silence. The Veterans Day Parade will then start shortly after 11 a.m. at Court Street and Mill Street and travel north on Virginia Street to Fifth Street. The reading of names will begin again at 12:30 p.m. and conclude before 5 p.m.
"We feel that it's important for our student veterans, the University of Nevada, Reno campus community and the northern Nevada community at large to honor our country's soldiers by taking time to individually name the fallen," said Terina Casterto, veterans services coordinator at the University. "What a powerful message, also, to send to the troops who are serving."
Lt. Col. Brett Morris, coordinator of the roll call events nationally and retired Army officer, said, "The reading of individual names is very poignant because it emphasizes the significance of each and every life lost. Like the names inscribed at the new 9/11 Memorial in New York, each of the fallen deserve to be remembered for their sacrifice. There is no effort to raise money or promote individual programs. The event is simply to honor those who have sacrificed so much on our behalf." Morris is also the associate director for veterans affairs at Eastern Kentucky University.
The Remembrance Day National Roll Call is sponsored nationally by the Veterans Knowledge Community of Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, known as NASPA. The group is a 12,000-member association for the advancement, health and sustainability of the student affairs professionals. The National Roll Call is grateful to iCasualties.org for the steadfast recording of the fallen over the past 10 years, from which the names of the fallen have been derived. The Veterans Knowledge Community mission is to advocate for best practices to help student veterans transition to college and succeed.
For information about the University's roll call event, contact Terina Caserto at (775) 682-5935 or email NevadaNationalRollCall@gmail.com. If you would like to volunteer at the event, fill out the Volunteer Interest Form.
Natalie Savidge is senior media relations specialist in the office of media relations.