POW/MIA 24-hour vigil, 21-gun salute begins Sept. 18 on Old Main lawn

September 15, 2009

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State's Tri-Service Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) will begin a 24-hour vigil 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18, on the lawn of Old Main in honor of the 2009 POW/MIA Recognition Day, an annual event issued by presidential proclamation.

During the opening ceremony Penn State alumnus and honored guest speaker U.S. Air Force Col. Frank R. Vicente (retired) will reflect on his own military experiences and will honor missing or captured comrades. Specifically, he will speak of his college friend Maj. Lewis P. Smith II, who was shot down over Laos during the Vietnam War and declared MIA.

Following a special presentation, the ceremony will conclude with a 21-gun salute. A guard will then be posted on the steps of Old Main until 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19.  The guard will be composed of various members from the Tri-Service ROTC who will march in a fashion similar to the guard at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. The Tri-Service ROTC encourages community members to attend to observe and appreciate the meaning of this ceremony and 24-hour vigil.





  • Just as these Penn State student ROTC color guard members observed Veterans Day outside Old Main in 2006, current Tri-Service ROTC cadets and midshipmen will participate in a 24-hour vigil Sept. 18-19 in honor of POW/MIA Recognition Day.

    IMAGE: Greg Grieco
Last Updated November 18, 2010