The assembly pays respect to the fallen during the Veterans Day ceremony.

During a damp, gray afternoon in early November, the rumble of howitzers echoed through the Dog River Valley— a sad reminder of the 18 wars the Nation has endured and the sacrifice of those who have served under her flag.

On that stage, the Norwich University community gathered for a Veterans Day Review to honor the men and women of our armed forces and their contribution to the history of our Nation.

“On Veterans Day we pause to thank the many men and women of our armed forces who put service before self, so that we may all be free,” said Norwich President Richard Schneider.

 In his speech, Schneider noted that this year’s ceremony was especially meaningful: A number of Norwich students and several hundred Norwich alumni are currently deployed to or have recently returned from Afghanistan and Iraq.

Reviewing the Regiment was John “Jack” Moynihan, Captain Commanding, Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts.

Moynihan’s son, John Moynihan, is a 2003 Norwich graduate who served in infantry in Iraq and is now pursuing a career in law enforcement in Boston.

“He and I thank Norwich for the training that has given John[the ability] to pursue the fulfillment of duty and a career of service that requires judgment, leadership, and yes, on occasion, physical courage,” said Captain Moynihan.

Norwich cadets stand in formation during the 2010 Veterans Day Review.

Chartered in 1638 to train young gentlemen officers to serve in community militias, the company is the third oldest military organization in the world, and the oldest in the western hemisphere. Over 30 Norwich University men are members, including Norwich University Board of Trustees Chairman GEN Gordon R. Sullivan ’59.

Eight of its members have received the Nation’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, and four have served as our Nation’s president.

Wearing a gorget crafted by Paul Revere, Moynihan spoke about the company’s mission of citizen service and its similarity to Alden Partridge’s vision for Norwich.

The company was originally chartered to prepare for the possibility that hostile Indians might form alliances and attack the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and after two centuries of service it had proven its worth. But by 1912 it was clear that the militia system was outmoded, and a new national standard for reserve forces was needed.

The company stopped training militia and shifted its purpose and mission to military support and service. It is currently structured as a patriotic military fraternal organization which aims to support the historic and patriotic traditions of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the Nation.

Moynihan encouraged the cadets to think about becoming members in the future and encouraged them to keep the culture of service to Nation alive.

He then assisted President Schneider and Cadet Colonel Joshua Tulloch ’11 in the placement of a memorial wreath at the base of the flagpole on the Upper Parade. Following the wreath placement was a prayer by Norwich Chaplain Bill Wick, a 21-gun salute by the Drill Team, and Echo Taps performed by two Regimental Buglers.

The review concluded with the Pass in Review. – l.d.

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