On November 11, 1918, as the clock pointed to 11:00, the war that was to end all war ended. One year later, November 11, 1919, in special ceremonies across the Nation, the American people gathered to honor those men who had fought in the Great War or World War I, as we know it. On that November day, here at Southwestern, students and faculty came together in chapel to remember those "sons of Southwestern," "who, in the crucial moment of the world's history," as President Mossman put it in The Victory Moundbuilder (1919), "offered themselves for their country's service." Others expressed this sentiment more grandly: Southwestern men "have given their services to the American Flag, that - through the triumph of that Flag - Honor, Justice, Freedom, Democracy might be preserved in every land." Wilsonian idealism was at high tide.
This Thursday, November 11th, marks the 80th anniversary of this first post-war Armistice Day, which was made a legal holiday in 1921 and, since World War II, we call Veterans Day. It is appropriate that on this anniversary, we remember the 374 Southwestern men who served proudly in the Great War, as well as pause for a special tribute to those 15 who gave their lives in what they and their fellows saw as a great and worthy endeavor that would bring about a better world. These 15 men-your classmates of yesterday-are:-
PAUL M. BENNETT
SAMUEL OTIS HOLMES
If you are interested in knowing more about these men and your College's participation in the Great War, please stop by the Library. On display is The Victory Moundbuilder of 1919, which will give you more details on those who served and a good picture of life on campus during this exciting period of change and adventure, one in which the sleeping giant-America-awoke. See how the men and women of Southwestern threw themselves behind the war effort with an enthusiasm never to be seen again in future wars; how they coped with the influenza outbreaks which resulted in two influenza vacations followed by a period of intensive makeup. Also on display is a fine photo showing the members of the Student Army Training Corps (S.A.T.C.), which had been established at Southwestern early in the war. The S.A.T.C. was a genuine military organization conducted under military regulations. The course included prescribed college subjects in addition to the regular military work. The men pictured were inducted into the Army on October 1, 1918. After the armistice in November, they were discharged on December 20, 1918, three days after this picture was taken. Three of their number had died during that Fall's flu epidemic. Altogether 93 men had been enrolled in Southwestern's S.A.T.C. unit.
War's end found your college poised to begin a period of rapid growth that would make it the fastest growing college in the Mississippi Valley by the mid 1920s. The idealistic spirit of 1918-1919, however, soon faded to be replaced by disillusionment. On campus, a few Southwestern students turned to pacifism, but most turned their efforts to securing world peace through international understanding and the outlawry of war, the latter of which found realization in 1928 in the Kellogg-Briand Pact.
Jerry Wallace (711)
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