USM Air Force ROTC take part in 24-hour Veterans Memorial Wall vigil

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi Air Force ROTC cadets walk 21 steps side to side and stand guard on each side for 21 seconds. It’s all part of the 24-hour Veterans Memorial Wall Vigil.

Cadets started at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Hattiesburg Veterans Memorial Park. They switched shifts every 30 minutes until 11 a.m. Veterans Day morning.

Once a shift is over, another cadet comes in and makes sure the rifle is good to guard the memorial wall. One cadet feels like she needs to do her part on Veterans Day because of her background.

"It’s very heartfelt, I guess. I'm actually originally from Romania,” said USM Air Force ROTC cadet wing commander Emilia Rudat. “I was adopted by two military veterans, so they gave me the freedom to be a part of the United States. So, I feel like I should fight for the freedoms I have now. That I was granted as a US citizen finally."

At 7 p.m. Sunday night there was a reading of the names on the memorial wall.

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