UD build­ing hon­ors WWI dead

Newark Post - - LOCAL NEWS -

In 1922, UD be­gan rais­ing money for an even larger me­mo­rial to WWI dead – the cen­tral cam­pus build­ing that came to be known as Me­mo­rial Hall.

The fundrais­ing cam­paign in­cluded a mas­sive pa­rade in Wilm­ing­ton de­signed to raise aware­ness of the ef­fort. UD stu­dents rode a spe­cial train to Wilm­ing­ton and were joined by thou­sands of school chil­dren as they marched to Rod­ney Square. That event alone raised $34,000.

Peo­ple from around the state joined in the fundrais­ing ef­fort, in­clud­ing Wilm­ing­ton High School stu­dents, who do­nated $3,700; Ne­wark High School stu­dents, who raised “quite a tidy sum” with a candy sale; and pris­on­ers at the New Cas­tle County Work­house, who pledged $25.

Dubbed Me­mo­rial Hall, the build­ing opened in 1925. The first build­ing to serve both the men’s and women’s cam­pus, it was UD’s li­brary un­til the Mor­ris Li­brary opened in 1963. Me­mo­rial Hall now houses the English Depart­ment.

In the lobby of Me­mo­rial Hall is the Book of the Dead, each page of which lists the name of a fallen solider. Ev­ery morn­ing, ROTC mem­bers cer­e­mo­ni­ously turn one page of the book.

The book was sup­posed to in­clude a bi­og­ra­phy of each solider, but that part of the book was never com­pleted.

Some 90 years later, though, English pro­fes­sor Bernard McKenna and his stu­dents be­gan to ful­fill that prom­ise, comb­ing through mil­i­tary records, old news­pa­pers and other doc­u­ments to find out what they could about the fallen sol­diers.

“What we have to­day is a start,” Ge­orge Miller, as­so­ciate chair of the English Depart­ment, said in 2016. “I doubt we’ll ever be able to ful­fill the orig­i­nal prom­ise, but it would be a fit­ting trib­ute to those who served and gave up their lives, to com­pile the life his­to­ries of those who sac­ri­ficed so much.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.