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Virginia Tech honors fallen Navy Ensign

BLACKSBURG (WSET) -- Virginia Tech honored Navy Ensign Sarah Mitchell, the graduate who died during a training exercise in the Red Sea today.

Ensign Mitchell graduated from VT in 2017. She commissioned in May 2017 and reported to the USS Jason Dunham as a surface warfare officer.

She died during a training exercise on July 8. She was 23.

Today, the VT Corps of Cadets dedicated the engraving of her name on the Ut Prosim pylon. Ut Prosim - that I may serve- is the university's motto.

Her name is the 432nd to be added to to the pylons along with other Hokies who died defending our country. She is the first woman on the pylons.

"Where were you when the Earth shuddered a moment and you heard the news," U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major Daniel Willey asked.

People came together today to remember her kindness and incredible leadership skills.

During her senior year she commanded the Corps' Alpha Company. They were present as well as the entire Corps of Cadets.

"They stand here today in formation with alpha company as a demonstration of unity, appreciation and respect," Command Sergeant Major Willey said.

Each pylon at Virginia Tech's war memorial represents a value: brotherhood, honor, leadership, sacrifice, service, loyalty, duty and UT Prosim.

"How appropriate where ensign Mitchell's name will reside - Ut Prosim - that she did serve," Major General Randal Fullhart, Commandant of Cadets, said.

At the end of the ceremony, Mitchell's family and colleagues went up to the pylon where her name is etched.

"Her voice is added to many engraved names that speak to all of us everyday," Major general Fullhart said.

The Alpha Company presented Mitchell's parents with gifts - one was a photo of their daughter's name on the pylon, so they too can see it everyday.

"Please know that your baby girl was loved by this university and this Corps of Cadets," Command Sergeant Major Willey said to her parents.

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