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College Hosts Fallen Comrade Ceremony Nov. 12 to Honor Veterans

November 06, 2008

In honor of Veterans Day, Anoka-Ramsey Community College will host the United States Army, Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 11:30 a.m. in the Coon Rapids Campus Student Lounge/Student Center. Representatives from the Army will conduct a Fallen Comrade event. The community is invited to join this somber, respectful ceremony in honor of all fallen soldiers.

The event will include the Color Guard presenting the national flag in a formation unique and customary to military units and a Fallen Comrade ceremony to honor and recognize those who have served our country and fallen.

The Fallen Comrade ceremony is intended to honor military members who are missing, often referred to as "brothers and sisters." It is based on a small table with a white tablecloth to depict the purity of the soldier's intentions as he/she responded to their country's call to arms. The table is set for one to represent the frailty of one soldier alone against his or her enemies.

A single yellow rose in a vase on the table symbolizes remembrance and honors families and loved ones who keep the fallen comrade's memories alive. A red ribbon tied to the vase is a reminder of the blood shed to protect the liberty of the country.

A single bread plate contains a slice of lemon, which speaks to the fallen soldier's bitter fate, and salt which symbolizes the families' tears. An inverted glass is placed as proof that the soldier is not present to toast. Finally, an empty chair represents the missing soldiers.

"We are hoping students, staff and the public will join Veterans Services at Anoka-Ramsey to honor all men and women who have served our country," says Phil O'Donnell, the college's Veterans Services Director. "We want veterans and their families to know that Anoka-Ramsey values their sacrifices, and is here to help in any way that we can."

For more information on Anoka-Ramsey Community College's veteran events and programs, call 763-433-1334 or visit www.AnokaRamsey.edu.