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Phone: 901/678-2843
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U of M Will Join Nationwide Rally Nov. 11th to Honor Fallen Armed Services Members
For release: November 1, 2011
For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901-678-2843.

Following the 10th anniversary of the September 11th tragedy, the University of Memphis has joined a nationwide grass-roots effort to honor American servicemen and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan during the past decade.

On Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11, campus and community volunteers at more than 100 college and universities across the nation will read the names of the more than 6,200 casualties of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF), now called Operation New Dawn.

Each campus participating in Remembrance Day National Roll Call will organize its own reading of names and will observe at 1 p.m. (Memphis time) a simultaneous minute of silence across the country.  More than 160 schools in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia have agreed to participate in the event.

The Remembrance Day National Roll Call is sponsored nationally by the Veterans Knowledge Community (VKC) of NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. NASPA is a 12,000-member association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs professionals. The mission of the VKC is to advocate for best practices to help student veterans transition to college and succeed. As the National Roll Call sponsor, the goal of VKC is to have at least one institution in each of the 50 states participate in the event.

LTC (Ret) Brett Morris, the National Roll Call coordinator, said, “We wanted to rally campus communities across the nation to send a powerful message to the troops currently serving that their peers have not forgotten their sacrifices, or those of the fallen.

Morris, a retired U.S. Army officer and now the associate director for Veterans Affairs at Eastern Kentucky University, continued, “The reading of individual names is very poignant, because it emphasizes the significance of each and every life lost. Like those whose names are inscribed on the new 9/11 Memorial in New York City, the fallen servicemen and women deserve to be remembered for their sacrifice. This is not an effort to raise money or promote individual programs. It is simply meant to honor those who have sacrificed so much on our behalf.”

The reading of the names will take nearly eight hours to complete as readers announce the names in chronological order. A list of other U of M campus observances follows:

7:30 – 8 a.m.
Motivational Formation Run, hosted by University of Memphis ROTC units
Where: Starts at Memorial Field (adjacent to the Elma Roane Field House)

 8 – 8:10 a.m.
Veterans Day opening ceremonies and playing of Taps
Where: Fountain in front of Rose Theatre

 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Armed Forces Documentary (recurring video)
Where: Rose Theatre

 8:10 a.m. –  4:30 p.m.
National Roll Call: Reading of more than 6,200 veterans' names
Where: Fountain in front of Rose Theatre

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Information Fair
Where: Rose Theatre Lobby

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Reception hosted by U of M Veterans' Affairs Office
Where: Rose Theatre Entertainment Lobby (Counselors will be available in this reception area.)

 1 – 1:05 p.m.
National Moment of Silence

The National Roll Call is grateful to iCasualties.org for the steadfast recording of the fallen over the past 10 years, from which the names of the fallen have been derived.

For information about Roll Call events at the University of Memphis, contact Geraldine Young (gyoung2@memphis.edu) or Mary Jean Nelms (mnelms@memphis.edu) at the U of M Veteran Services office, 901-678-2996.

For more information about the National Roll Call effort, contact LTC (Red) Brett Morris at remembrancerollcall@gmail.com, or visit va.eku.edu/rollcall to see a list of participating schools.

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