POW/MIA Vigil Gives Meaning Beyond our Unit

vigil 1

By MIDN 3/c Mule

CAMBRIDGE–On Friday, September 25th, representatives from Navy, Army, and Air Force ROTC at MIT held a vigil in MIT’s Memorial Lobby in honor of military personnel who were taken as prisoners of war (POW) or who are listed as Missing in Action (MIA). The vigil began with a ceremony and remarks from MIDN 1/c Castaño, who emphasized the importance of continuing to remember and honor those service members who were taken as Prisoners of War or who have gone missing. MIDN 3/c Burns gave an invocation, asking for the strength necessary to become leaders in our nation’s military and for the protection of those in harm’s way. The ceremony concluded with a performance of Taps on the trumpet by MIDN 3/c Ladine. Then the vigil began, as MIDN 4/c Luerman began the first watch of the morning.

Throughout the day, Midshipmen and Cadets stood watch in Memorial Lobby. During their 30-minute shifts, they would walk back and forth in front of the flags of the armed services that were standing in the lobby. Each time, they would take exactly twenty-one steps and pause for twenty-one seconds in the middle and at either end, alluding to a twenty-one-gun salute, which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary. There was also a midshipman supervisor present in the lobby to answer any questions that those passing by may have. MIDN 4/c Segler said she enjoyed participating in the vigil because she “was contributing to something that benefitted others. It gave value to more than just myself and the unit.”

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