Westminster College students working to build veterans memorial

1 year 3 months 3 weeks ago Friday, June 07 2019 Jun 7, 2019 Friday, June 07, 2019 10:25:00 PM CDT June 07, 2019 in News
By: Michael Van Schoik, KOMU 8 Reporter

FULTON - Some Westminster College students and professors are raising funds to build a new Veterans Memorial.

The group, led by history Professor Mark Boulton, began the effort after a trip to Vietnam last year. Students toured battlefields and spoke with veterans, hearing their stories firsthand. 

"Going over there and hearing the veterans explain their experiences themselves makes a huge difference," Boulton said.

He said the students were particularly inspired by the stories of the "Westminster 7," a name given to the seven Westminster students who died in Vietnam.

"We just wanted to find ways of honoring them," Boulton said. 

Kelsie Slaughter, the Westminster senior leading the project, said, although some plaques around campus existed previously, the group felt something bigger was needed.

"When we got back, I decided that we needed something more permanent on campus to kind of commemorate Westminster’s long military history and heritage," she said.

Students also began doing more research on Westminster's military past. They learned, in addition to the seven students who died in Vietnam, more than 60 students died in World War II.

"It was that level of sacrifice that made us go 'wow we need to do something a little more permanent than just a plaque,'" said Veterans Memorial Committee member Chandler Casey.

He said he believes losing that many students during wartime would have been difficult to handle. 

"That must have been pretty impactful at the time. I couldn't imagine hearing somebody you went to school with died in war," he said. 

The students working on the memorial project are eager to honor the Blue Jays who have served, or even laid down their lives, in battle. Westminster alumni who have served say it means a great deal to them. 

"It's actually quite humbling," said retired Army Colonel Gary Ridenhour. "It's very heart warming." 

Ridenhour started his military career at Westminster as an ROTC cadet. He said he never intended to make a career out of it, but ended up serving for nearly 30 years. 

He said a new memorial will help students remember the importance of our nation's history and the role the military has played in it.

"It is part of their educational experience to walk through that memorial and see what the veterans are able to do and what the military does for us," Ridenhour said. 

To Vietnam veteran and Westminster alum Steve Hardin, the student interest in building a memorial is inspiring. 

"It’s encouraging that the youth carry on, hopefully the right things of the past not the wrong things," he said.

The memorial and Veterans Plaza itself will consist of a bronze battle cross and an atrium with cases displaying artifacts from various wars. The memorial will cost an estimated $15,000 to construct.

More News

Grid
List
(CNN) -- When 5-year-old Carver learned about the wildfires ravaging his home state of Oregon, he told his grandmother Sasha... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 11:42:00 AM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
BOONE COUNTY- The Boone County Sheriff's Department responded to a shots fired incident at the intersection of Mauller Road and... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 11:33:00 AM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
MISSOURI- As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. The... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 11:00:00 AM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Summer's over, but the pandemic persists. The days are getting shorter and colder. And the next few months... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 10:36:00 AM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Students Association (MSA) will host a public, full senate meeting Tuesday over Zoom and Facebook. ... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 9:28:00 AM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. Previous coverage: ... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 9:00:00 AM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
(CNN) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who have cut several major deals during the coronavirus... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 8:43:45 AM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
MEXICO, Mo. — The Mexico Public Safety Department responded to a report of a gunshot wound around 2 p.m. Monday.... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 8:23:00 AM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Game night looks different at restaurants and bars with the health order and social distancing measures. Columbia... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 7:40:00 AM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
CLEVELAND (AP) — In an election year like no other, the first debate between President Donald Trump and his Democratic... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 7:25:00 AM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
Columbia utility disconnections start next Monday The City of Columbia will resume utility disconnections on Monday, Oct. 5. This... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 5:30:00 AM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
BALTIMORE (AP) — It wasn’t just that Patrick Mahomes threw for a ton of yards and four touchdowns. Most impressive... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 5:02:00 AM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
This article was updated by CNN at 10:58 p.m., Monday, Sept. 28. NEW YORK (CNN) — Microsoft 365 was... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, September 29 2020 Sep 29, 2020 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 5:00:00 AM CDT September 29, 2020 in News
NEW DELHI (AP) — The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus has eclipsed 1 million. The milestone, recorded by Johns... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 7:58:50 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA — The City of Columbia will resume utility disconnections on Monday, Oct. 5. This gives customers one week to... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 7:38:00 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY, Mo. (KY3) - A woman faces criminal charges in a Camden County woman’s overdose death last year. ... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 6:28:58 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA— Each week the White House Coronavirus Task Force releases a detailed report, regarding the status and recommendations to states... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 6:00:00 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- UPDATE 6:30 P.M: CPS Athletic Director David Egan confirmed Battle will play at Moberly Friday night at 7 p.m.... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 6:00:00 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 54°
2am 55°
3am 55°
4am 55°
5am 54°