ASU AFROTC Det. 847: Flag Retreat and Candlelight Vigil Ceremony
Activities will begin at 5 p.m. Nov. 7 with the flag retreat ceremony at the flagpole, and then move to the Memorial Oak Grove for the candlelight vigil. The Arnold Air Society Robert G. Carr Squadron commander, Cadet Major Kenneth Chalupa, will make opening remarks, followed by this year’s special guest speaker, Kurt Kelpe, a U.S. Navy veteran who served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
Kelpe served aboard the U.S.S. Cowpens, which commissioned in Philadelphia on May 28, 1943. During the two years and three months of its commissioned life, the U.S.S. Cowpens steamed 198,722.4 miles, hosted 11,275 aircraft landings and catapulted 5,147 planes from its deck. The planes launched from the ship dropped approximately 620 tons of bombs on enemy territory and shot down 93 enemy airborne aircraft. They also destroyed 512 aircraft on the ground and sank two enemy warships in the Pacific Theatre.
Following Kelpe’s speech, ROTC cadets will begin reading biographies of ASU alumni veterans. After the first reading, attendees will be invited to the Mayer Administration Building for a reception provided by the ASU West Texas Collection and the Friends of the (ASU) Porter Henderson Library.
The candlelight vigil will run until midnight and will include a changing of the guard every 30 minutes, similar to the ritual at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. Additionally, cadets will conduct a reading about ASU veterans every 10 minutes. At the end of each reading, a single flower will be placed on the marker in the Memorial Oak Grove.
The evening’s activities are open free to the public and are sponsored by the Robert G. Carr Squadron of the Arnold Air Society, the Silver Wings professional student organization and ROTC Det. 847. The ASU flagpole and Memorial Oak Grove are located in front of the Mayer Administration Building, 2601 W. Avenue N.
Anyone planning to attend is asked to RSVP by Nov. 2 to RobertGCarr.Squadron@gmail.com or 817-929-4941.