September 2011-Gateway Institute of Technology recently had a AFJROTC Reveille at Soldier’s Memorial in Downtown St Louis to honor the significant achievements of our cadets, honor the traditions long held of the reveille ceremony, and commemorate the anniversary of September 11th, 2001. 250 cadets from MO-851st, Gateway IT High’s AFJROTC unit, participated in this monumental occasion and were joined by several distinguished guests: Dr. Elizabeth Bender, Principal, Gateway IT; Ms. Ann Chance, Director, St Louis Special Events; Dr. Lanaea Magnus, Curator and Director, Soldier’s Memorial; Colonel (USA Retired) Judith Hanses, Co-Chairman, Massing of the Colors and Post 404; Ms. Kathy Bess, and St Louis Special Events; as well as numerous parents, spectators, and Gateway IT staff members.
The cadets ceremoniously bestowed the U.S. Flag, St Louis Flag, Prisoner of War Flag, and for the first time at Soldier’s Memorial, raised the halyards for the “9/11 Flag.” Not only was this event spectacular in the reverence behind the purpose, this marked the first time in the history of the memorial and museum that a JROTC unit participated in a ceremony on its hallowed ground.
The museum officially opened on Memorial Day, May 30, 1938. Quotes taken from the museum’s web site ironically solidify the significance of the museum from its inception to events that continue to change and shape our world.
“This magnificent edifice, erected as a perpetual reminder of the valor and sacrifice that has enabled America to live, will spur us on as a people to make America greater. We, who live, because others have died, should make of this shrine a place of love and a monument of peace." Mayor Bernard F. Dickmann, May 30, 1938.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt came to St. Louis to dedicate the site for the Soldiers Memorial building on October 14, 1936. “We in America do not build monuments to war: we do not build monuments to conquests; we build monuments to commemorate the spirit of sacrifice in war-reminders of our desire for peace. The memory of those, whom the war called to the beyond, urges us to consecrate the best that is in us to the service of country in times of peace. We best honor the memory of those dead by striving for peace that the terror of the days of war will be with us no more. May the beauty of this monument, which will rise on this site, cast a beneficent light on the memories of our comrades, may a substantial structure typify the strength of their purpose, and may it inspire future generations with a desire to be of service to their fellows and their country.”
Dr. Bender stated that the cadets of MO-851st are the faces and leaders of Gateway, and she looks to them to set the example for all to follow. These cadets are inspired with a desire to be of service to their community and their school. It was an honor and privilege for our cadets to participate in this most awe-inspiring and commemorative occasion.