For these 3 ROTC cadets, the remembrance scholarship reinforces their sense of purpose



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For three Remembrance Seekers, looking back and acting forward plays a special role in their lives as they connect ROTC to Pan Am Flight 103.

Syracuse University’s 32nd Remembrance Week began on Sunday October 17 and will last until Saturday October 23. The League annually chooses 35 senior citizens as Remembrance Fellows to represent the 35 students killed by the attack, an act of terrorism that led to the bombing of Pan American Flight 103 that crashed in Lockerbie, in Scotland.

Three of these fellows are female ROTC to SU cadets. This is the first time in scholarship history that three ROTC cadets have been selected as Remembrance Fellows, and the first time that three ROTC cadets have been selected for the scholarship program.

“It’s amazing that we are all female soldiers in the military,” said Madeline Messare, who represents Richard “Rick” Paul Monetti as a Remembrance Scholar. “We are all trying to give back to the community and make a positive change. The selfless service that is supposed to include being in the military for us doesn’t just start when we are commissioned as officers, it begins now.


Maya Goosmann | Director of digital design

Messare said representing Monetti heightened her sense of purpose, prompting her to advocate for mental health in the military and launch a petition for the League to award scholarships to refugees from Afghanistan.

“(I learned) from an early age that what you don’t give back you do, and the trauma of grief is not passive but active and necessary for all healing,” Messare said. “(With) the ROTC, in particular, there is a lot of trauma and horrific events that you observe in the military that you are forced to recover from.”

Messare said she believes mental health is highly stigmatized in the military and law enforcement. She uses the motto of Remembrance Fellows – “Look Back, Act Forward” – as a motivation to raise awareness about the subject.

“Rethinking trauma and taking action by educating and supporting others, facing their past experiences and helping them refocus their energy towards a bright future is what I think this scholarship is aimed at,” he said. she declared.

Messare said she also uses the Memorial Scholarship and ROTC as motivation for her activism.

“My professor of social psychology once said, ‘People are capable of shocking behavior of brutality, they are also capable of shocking behavior of altruism and altruism. I think this scholarship represents that, ”Messare said. “Hatred is often a by-product of trauma, and we need to reshape that narrative. And that’s what I try to do in the military, and that’s what I try to do every day in my life.


Madeleine Gordon, Remembrance Fellow representing Sarah SB Philipps, shared a similar motive, saying that the motto “Look Back, Act Forward” has given her a new perspective on terrorist attacks and events in mourning. Gordon said terrorism divides communities and people, but grief and mutual education can unite people.

“Our army has been defined over the past decades by the global war on terrorism. Unfortunately, we can expect this type of violence to continue to occur in our world, ”Gordon said. “It is important to be educated on acts of terrorism. It is important to understand the impact they have.

“That’s what’s really special about the Remembrance Bursary. Here we are, decades later, and we still honor the dead. We always actively remember, educate and move forward. ”

Gordon said the remembrance and grief have long impacted her life, as an ROTC cadet and as a Jewish woman. She said she views the Remembrance Fellows and the ROTC as the two largest service communities on campus.

Gordon said she was able to relate her experiences with the Remembrance Scholarship program.

“You live to honor those you have lost. I have had people in my family – I have had people in my religious community – who have been incredibly touched by incredibly tragic events, like the Holocaust, ”she said. “I saw how it brought us together… You can connect with the community of the force and create something beautiful even in the darkest times of life.”

Elizabeth Billman, who represents ROTC Cadet Timothy M. Cardwell, said being a woman at ROTC has had a profound effect on her life and experience as a Remembrance Fellow.

Billman said she wanted to make sure the ROTC community on campus knew and remembered Cardwell and his legacy in the ROTC program at SU. She also said that to be a Remembrance scholar is to honor those killed in the attack.

“We recognize the amazing things that all of these young people… have done in their short span of time,” she said. “We could have been those people. (We must continue) looking back on all their accomplishments and making sure their names are not forgotten. ”

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Maya Goosmann | Director of digital design

For Gordon, being a Remembrance Fellow is the greatest honor she could have received. Gordon said each Remembrance Fellow has their own unique lifestyle that celebrates each of the 35 students.

“So much of what we do as Remembrance Scholars is just to hold onto, preserve those memories and use them to propel you and the community forward,” she said. “So many researchers are simply described as these incredibly dynamic, creative, loving and caring people. And I think that’s what really brings (the victims) to life.

Gordon said Philipps was a passionate student with an enthusiastic personality and that everyone described her as “radiant with beauty inside and out.” She said that reading about Philipps kept her memory alive and made her honor him even more.

Gordon said the Memorial Scholarship motivated her to pursue a career in the military and hopes to carry Philipps’ enthusiasm into the rest of her life.

“The greatest thing I can promote as a leader is empathy. … It’s something that I will carry with me, and of course, this general enthusiasm for life, ”she said. “I want to bring as much good as possible to the world. ”

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Maya Goosmann | Director of digital design

Billman, Gordon and Messare each represent three victims who died in the Pan Am Flight 103 terror attack, but they also demonstrate the strength of the women of the ROTC and the military. They each said that it is no coincidence that three younger girls were chosen to represent three victims of the terrorist attack.

“It’s like the message of resilience and trying to get across being a woman too and trying to make a difference in the community,” Messare said. “It’s difficult to be in a field dominated by men. But I think we are all really strong women who have really pushed to be able to make positive changes in our surrounding communities. ”

DISCLAIMER: Elizabeth Billman is a senior photographer for The Daily Orange. She does not influence the editorial content of the News section in her capacity as senior photographer.

Contact Karolina: [email protected]


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