On the 75th anniversary of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, military students at a Vermont university paid tribute to the lives lost there.
For 24 hours this December 7, the Golden Anchor Society at Norwich University in Northfield maintained what it called “vigil tours.”
The tours were solemn, incredibly slow-motion marches, with participants dressed in formal military attire. At the top of every hour, one member of the club handed the rifle and responsibility to the next.
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The 1941 assault by Japanese forces left 2,403 Americans dead, according to NBC News, and propelled the nation into World War II.
“It's really not a sacrifice at all compared to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice on Pearl Harbor,” said Reid Weber, a Norwich sophomore from Fort Wayne, Indiana who took part in the vigil tour Wednesday.
Norwich freshman Casey Johnson of Wenham, Massachusetts said he was grateful to take part in the solemn tribute.
“No matter how cold or how wet or snowy or whatever it is, no matter all that, it's all worth it when you realize what you're doing it for, and the people you're doing it for, and who you're remembering when you do that,” Johnson told necn of the physically demanding slow-motion march.
Erin Gats of Livermore Maine, the regimental commander of the 2016-2017 Norwich Corps of Cadets, called the display an important tradition to maintain as the nation rapidly loses World War II vets.
“It fills me with a lot of pride,” Gats said as she watched the solemn march in front of a flag flying at half-staff. “I think it's important to keep those traditions going, because if we don't, who else is going to?”
The Golden Anchor Society’s efforts helped make this “date which will live in infamy” also be one of respect.