- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Students at the College of Southern Maryland listened as names were called off Wednesday. This was no attendance roster — it was the names of fallen soldiers in honor of Veterans Day.
The Veterans Affairs office at the La Plata campus hosted The Reading of Our Fallen: “The Fight Continues,” a service project through The Fight Continues nonprofit group where the names of all men and women who lost their lives in United States conflicts will be read aloud in 600 locations across the U.S.
According to information provided by the college, participants at each event will read about 1,750 names. CSM participants read 1,800 names of veterans from Maryland.
While many other locations are scheduled to read names on Veterans Day, CSM held its event early due to already scheduled veterans events next week.
Volunteer students from the theater department, veteran and director of the Center Trades and Energy Training Ricky Godbolt, professor and veteran Ed Moroney, and CSM veterans benefits coordinator Susan Moyer took turns reading names from the steps of the learning resources building.
Names were divided into groups for each conflict, including the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Philippine-American War, the Vietnam War and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Students stopped for a few moments on their way to or from class to hear the names called out. Some stayed for the duration of the event.
Chad Ivy, a CSM student and veteran who served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, said he was disappointed in the turnout for the event.
Ivy stood in the cold weather for the reading of all the names, which lasted about an hour. He said he wanted to show support to veterans.
There are about 600 veterans currently enrolled for the fall semester, according to Moyer, who said, while the turnout was disappointing, the purpose of the event was not to draw a crowd but to honor the fallen.
Moyer said combined with the spring semester, there are about 800 students at CSM who receive veteran benefits.
Mike Moses, Vietnam veteran and vice president of the Charles County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People , attended the event to show support.
“I support the veterans of Southern Maryland as much as I can,” he said.
Moses said in addition to attending Veterans Day events, he does all he can to reach out to vets and their families, making sure they are aware of benefits available to them.
As for soldiers currently coming home, Moses said he likes to do all he can to remind people around him that these soldiers deserve celebrity treatment when coming home.
Moyer said this was the first year the school participated in this sort of event but it would like to do it again next year.
Moroney said he has noticed CSM stepping up and doing a lot more for veterans recently, including a meet-and-greet with veterans in coming months and the upcoming formation of a veterans club.
Moroney said ideas have been tossed around regarding all-veteran courses, too.