Members of the BYU Army ROTC and Detachment 855 of the Air Force ROTC celebrated Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 11, by lining up in formation at Brigham Square. They demonstrated what they’ve learned in the past year for the annual Presidential Review.
The review was a time for cadets to strengthen bonds with one another, connect with community members and perform basic drill and ceremony skills.
BYU hosted a wreath-laying ceremony in the Memorial Hall of the Wilkinson Student Center just before the review. Lt. Col. Forrest V. Cook opened the ceremony and honored fallen BYU veterans in his remarks.
Reviews date back to the Revolutionary War and have involved the formation of armed forces, the presentation of honors and the inspection of troops. The focus is on the pride, precision and discipline instilled through many hours of drills.
BYU President Kevin J Worthen and Elder Lance B. Wickman, emeritus member of the Seventy and U.S. Army Ranger, reviewed the cadets.
Army ROTC junior Dillon Selee walked in the color guard and presented the colors for the national anthem.
“It’s a great experience to think back on the traditions of the military and for me to participate in a tradition that’s strong in the army,” Selee said. “It’s also a special time to remember everyone who has served.”
Army ROTC junior Cody Hill played the bugle call “Taps” on his trumpet during the raising of the flag.
“Playing ‘Taps’ was a good moment to reflect on all the sacrifices people have made,” Hill said. “It made me really grateful, and I’m proud to be a part of something greater than myself. It made me proud of America and all we stand for.”
Elder Wickman was the keynote speaker at the review. He spoke about how patriotism and heroism support one another but also deserve to stand independently.
Elder Wickman said patriotism is the duty a citizen has for his or her country. He said people express patriotism through acts like voting, obeying traffic laws, learning about the country’s history and having a desire to defend the country.
“True nobility of genuine patriotism lies in its ordinariness, in the willingness to simply do one’s duty for no other reason because it’s the right thing to do,” Elder Wickman said.
In contrast, Elder Wickman said heroism is going beyond one’s duty and sacrificing self for others.
“Patriotism may provide the context for battlefield heroism, but in my combat experience, such heroism is much more intensely personal to serving one’s comrades and arms than just the sense of duty to country,” Elder Wickman said. “Genuine heroism is enshrined in an aura of self-sacrificing sacredness.”