At 0600 sharp, Boston University midshipmen and cadets from all three ROTC branches began marching in the plaza located in front of Marsh Chapel to commemorate the many brave men and women who served our nation. Located on the very busy Commonwealth Avenue, passersby stopped to take a moment to observe the midshipmen and cadets and pay their respects to all those who served in the past and present. Pedestrians stopped to ask questions and speak with the midshipmen and cadets standing by the vigil. The students of ROTC continued to march all day until the closing ceremony inside Chapel in the early afternoon.
Headed by MIDN 1/c Joshua Dalva, the Naval ROTC Battalion at Boston University put on a successful event that culminated with the closing ceremony. Boston University’s Chaplain for International Students, Reverend Brittany Longsdorf, delivered the invocation, praying for all American veterans and their families as well as prisoners of war and those missing in action followed by the playing of taps. Dr. Douglas Sears, Director of Military Education, then welcomed guest speaker Tim McLaughlin to share his thoughts on what being a veteran means to him.
McLaughlin began by giving his background as a Marine Corps Officer and shared his experience of working in the Pentagon when it was attacked on 9/11. He offered his advice to those in attendance mentioning the importance of being prepared to lead when your people need you the most just as a young Marine needed him on that day. Another point he made during his remarks was how to transition from being a military member to a civilian. McLaughlin advised to make connections while in the service that can help you succeed and make a smooth change back into a civilian lifestyle. Lastly, he talked about his time as a tank commander in Iraq and the struggles he experienced while deployed overseas.
The midshipmen, cadets, staff, and students all enjoyed hearing from Tim McLaughlin. In particular, MIDN 2/c Evan Sternstein says, “as a future naval officer it means a lot to participate in such a meaningful tradition. I also enjoyed hearing from such an accomplished veteran as Mr. McLaughlin.” Marching during the day also gave the midshipmen and cadets a chance to reflect and think about all those that came before them and the ones they will serve with in the future. BU NROTC hosted a great event and will continue to improve it every year coming.
Written by MIDN 2/c Robert Conkey