MSU rededicates WWI Memorial

Left to Right: Andy Heitkamp, Joseph Jastrzembski, Anna Dykeman, Kevin Kramer, Robert Fode, Steven Shirley, Chuck Barney, Sally Johnson, Maggie Laducer

MINOT, N.D. - Minot State University honored two of its very own fallen heroes with the planting of two new elm trees on campus and rededicated the World War I memorial in honor of Minot Normal School students Henry Finn and James Otis Cooper who gave their lives to the war effort as a part of the university's 2018 Memorial Day Campus event.

The ceremony began indoors in Swain Hall with the Minot American Legion Post 26 Color/Honor Guard presenting the colors. This was followed by speeches from North Dakota Congressman Rep. Kevin Cramer, Brigadier General Bob Fode, Sen. John Hoeven's regional director Sally Johnson, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's field representative Maggie Laducer, MSU President Steven Shirley, Minot Mayor Chuck Barney, MSU campus pastor Anna Dykeman, and Minot State history professor Joseph Jastrzembski. Minot State Veteran Services director Andy Heitkamp provided introductions

"I don't know of another campus in our state that has committed the types of resources, oversight, and heart to serving our veterans," Cramer said during his remarks. "Remembering is much more than dates, names, and facts. Remembering is honoring."

Brig. Gen. Fode spoke of the long tradition of men and women from North Dakota that served in the military, and urged the audience to never forget those who have served and sacrificed.

"I encourage everyone to actively seek out the great Americans who have served our nation in uniform. Spend some time with them, ask them their story, and honor their service and person while we still can," Fode said.

After the speakers concluded their remarks, attendees proceeded to the lawn located between Swain Hall and Gordon B. Olson Library for the planting of the two elm trees.

At a future date, a memorial bench will be added in honor of all of the students, faculty, and staff who supported America in the Great War.

"It is fitting that on the centennial of the end of World War I that MSU remember two of its students, Henry Finn and James Otis Cooper, who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country," Jastrzembski said. "It is fitting too to remember all the students, faculty, and staff, who served, in whatever capacity, to support the war effort and, in the words of President Wilson, ‘make the world safe for democracy.'"

During the event members of the Minot American Legion Post 26 Color/Honor Guard presented the colors. The event concluded with the Post 26 Trumpeter playing "Taps."

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 05/25/18   

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