Sep 192004
 
Authors: Sara Bahnson

A 24-hour vigil to raise awareness for soldiers who are or have

been prisoners of war or persons that have gone missing in action

was held at the flagpole on the Lory Student Center Plaza Thursday

and Friday.

“It’s a way to remember these men and women that have gone to

fight and were captured,” said Jennifer Mueller, a cadet and senior

health and exercise science student.

The Arnold Air Society and the Silver Wings, groups that promote

leadership and civic involvement, presented the POW/MIA Remembrance

Vigil.

The ceremonies began with a flyover on Thursday afternoon,

followed by a speech by Staff Sgt. Joe Cucarola, an ex-POW of World

War II. Cucarola was the recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze

Star.

The subsequent 24 hours involved changing of the guard and

rotations of cadets in a symbolic cage every hour.

“This year, we added the cage. It’s based on authentic POW cage

design,” said Brandon Horii, a cadet first lieutenant and senior

civil engineering student.

Cassie McGarvey, a cadet who was in the cage on Friday morning,

said she was touched by the experience.

“It was overwhelming to realize what they went through,” said

McGarvey, a freshman family and consumer studies student.

Cadets were not allowed to speak while in the cage and were

forced to crouch with their knees bent for the entire hour.

“You see people coming out of the cage and they are humbled,”

said Brittany Garner, a cadet and sophomore history student who

went into the cage on Friday. “It’s important for me because I

could be put into that situation one day.”

Garner also commented that some POWs are in cages or camps for

many years.

“If they can sit in a cage for 12 years, I can study and go to

class,” Mueller said.

Cadets from CSU’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps detachment,

as well as members of the colorguard, the Arnold Air Society and

Silver Wings ran the booth during the vigil.

They sold merchandise including ribbons, T-shirts and bracelets

that were marked with the date a POW/MIA went missing and was

accompanied by a story. All money raised benefited families of POWs

and MIAs.

“People came in the middle of the night to buy bracelets,” Horii

said.

The closing ceremonies involved a 21-gun salute and bagpipers

playing “Amazing Grace.”

With a larger turnout than previous years, Horii attributed the

heightened interest by CSU students to the colorguard, the flyover

and the new cage.

“My husband is a cadet,” said Emily Campbell, president of the

Silver Wings at CSU and a senior history education student. “It

could be my husband missing in action. Hopefully, we can strive for

more peace without having to make the ultimate sacrifice.”

 

For more information on Detachment

AFROTC 090 at CSU, go to

“http://www.csuairforce.com//”>www.csuairforce.com. Information

and news about the Air Force can be found at

“http://www.af.mil/”>www.af.mil.

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