Wreath-laying ceremony recognizes those from MU community who have served

Students, faculty, community members and veterans gathered at Memorial Union on the University of Missouri campus to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day.

Beginning promptly at noon on Nov. 9, several members of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program marched toward the archway, each carrying a flag representing a specific branch of the armed forces. Once the flags were posted, those in attendance sang the national anthem.

Kyle Smith, president of the Mizzou Student Veterans Association, reflected on his experiences as a veteran and the distinction he has felt since he returned to the university after finishing up his service. Smith also mentioned additional memorials on campus that also pay tribute to veterans, such as the American War Mothers’ Memorial, the new Blue Star Memorial, Memorial Stadium and the names of several residence halls. 

MU student Amando Jo Talbot said she stumbled upon the event by accident.

“I chose to attend because I actually walked into it as I was trying to find a spot to eat lunch,” Talbot said. “I had never attended the event in the past, and I thought it would be a good idea for me to pay my respects, as I used to always help out with our local ceremonies when I was in high school.”

The event included guest speaker James Musgraves, the outgoing executive officer of the Navy ROTC, who spoke about the importance of paying tribute to veterans year-round. Musgraves encouraged audience members to continue to be mindful of those who are currently serving.

Following the speeches, the names of the 117 University of Missouri veterans engraved into the archway of Memorial Union were read aloud. The archway commemorates those who served and lost their lives fighting in World War I.

Just before the conclusion, a moment of silence was held and taps cut through the crisp fall air. A sense of pride enveloped the crowd as members of ROTC hoisted up their flags and marched away from the archway. Afterward, those in attendance gathered together to take photos and pay tribute.

MU student Abby Mirly said this was her first time attending the event but hopes she can return again next year.

“I got the chills,” Mirly said. “I felt a lot of respect for veterans and people in the Mizzou community who have served.”

In addition to the wreath-laying ceremony, the university also hosted several events throughout the week to honor and celebrate local veterans. These ranged from a vigil and parade to the military appreciation football game on Saturday morning.