To commemorate Veterans Day on November 11, Salt Lake Community College joined more than 100 colleges and institutions around the nation to host the Remembrance Day National Roll Call.
The event honored the men and women of the armed forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice during the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“When I first saw a notice come that they were looking for readers, I immediately called over and said I’d like to do this, but I had a special request,” said SLCC administrator Judy Black. “I’d like to be able to read during the time frame that my son in-law’s name is read.”
The names were read in order of when each soldier died. Arrangements were made so Black’s request could be accommodated. Black’s son in-law, Army Staff Sgt. Kurt Robert Curtiss, died August 26, 2009 during his third deployment to Afghanistan. He was 27 and left behind a wife and two children.
A flag ceremony in front of the Student Event Center at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus started the event at 8:00 a.m. Local Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Navy cadets conducted the ceremony.
Beginning at 8:30 a.m., volunteers, family and friends of those lost read aloud each of the roughly 6,200 names over the course of 8 hours. All were welcome to come and go throughout the ceremony to pay respect to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Organizers of Remembrance Day wanted to emphasize the significance of each and every life lost. Each of the volunteers read around 180 names.
“I think of them and what they have done, putting their lives on the line and I’ve thought of their families,” Black said. “Because behind every soldier there’s a family, (they’re) not just a name and a number.”
The event then moved inside where a memorial and podium were set up for the reading that would take most of the day.
There was a table set up for people to write letters and notes to the soldiers who are still stationed in the Middle East. The purpose was to give support and let them know that they’re appreciated and not forgotten.
Darlene Head, manager of the Veterans Service Center and organizer of the event said that it was a success.
“We had a lot of veterans come and read their buddies’ names. I think it was very healing,” Head said.
Craig Ferrin from the SLCC music department signified the “day is Done,” closing the event by playing “Taps” on the bugle.