Veterans Vigil begins Monday at A&M-Commerce

– Texas A&M University-Commerce will host the 18th annual Veterans Vigil on campus from Nov. 9-11, which is dedicated to a particular branch or section of the military each year who have served their country during times of military action.

The 2009 ceremonies revolve around the Reservists, and will begin on Monday, Nov. 9 in the Sam Rayburn Student Center with Dr. James Nicholson as the keynote speaker. Nicholson served in the United States Marine Corps through five major campaigns in North Korea before being wounded. He returned to earn a medical degree at Southwestern Medical School in Dallas and is currently a part of the medical group, Primary Care Associates of Greenville.

After the opening ceremony, a Vigil Flame will be lit at 12:30 p.m. and will burn continuously until the conclusion of ceremonies on Wednesday, Nov. 11 on the East Lawn. The Vigil Flame is an important aspect of the Veterans Vigil with the posting of a guard by the flame at all times. Guards take one-hour shifts from the moment the flame is lit until it is extinguished.

Another highlight of this year s events will be the performance of the United States Navy Band, Freedom, on Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. in the Ferguson Social Sciences building. Freedom is presented by the director of Navy Band Mid-South, and consists of professional Navy musicians. The group performs popular songs throughout multiple genres.

We are proud of the events scheduled by the Veterans Vigil Committee, said Connie Mears, assistant director of student activities and leadership.
Freedom will highlight activities on Monday, Nov. 9 following the swearing-in of new recruits. Mears added that Freedom s performance is complimentary and open to the public.

Following all events on Nov. 11, the final ceremony will take place on the East Lawn with the extinguishing of the Vigil Flame and a military flyover, weather permitting.

From 1949 until 1991, the Air Force ROTC unit on campus conducted the time-honored ceremony. The unit was lost due to retrenchment in 1991, but the university chose to continue the tradition with a committee comprised of community leaders, faculty, staff and students, which have carried on the legacy since 1992.

For more information contact Connie Mears at or call 903-886-5819.