At Anabel Taylor Hall stands a memorial for Cornell alumni who fought bravely and lost their lives in the Korean and Vietnam wars. Their courageous efforts will be once again be remembered during this year’s reunion events.
A rededication ceremony will take place on June 6 to honor the Cornellians who fought and died. The names of 450 veterans already stretch across a panel on the rotunda, and on June 6, the names of John J. Lawendowski ’52 and Roger H. Coye ’52 will be added to the list.
“The original dedication was in 1993. [At the time] we didn’t know the names of these veterans, but both will be added to the memorial,” said William W. Huling ’68, senior corporate programs director in the Johnson Graduate School of Management and university coordinator of the rededication committee.
Lawendowski was a pre-veterinary student, and a marine veteran who died in Vietnam from artillery fire. Coye was in the army, and died in a helicopter crash in 1966. Their families have been invited to commemorate these veterans, but their attendance is still uncertain.
“For some families it is still difficult to deal with the loss. [Also] we have asked President Rawlings and Jay Morley, who is our keynote speaker, and president of the National Association of College and University Business Officers to be in attendance. [He] was a prior military veteran himself,” Huling said.
The Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) has helped in researching alumni and deceased veterans. They have compiled mailing lists, contacted Cornellians around the world to try to find alumni killed in service, and worked on capturing digital images of these veterans.
In addition to this work, some ROTC officers will be present at the ceremony.
“One officer in each service (army, navy, etc.) will be posting the colors and helping usher the event,” Huling said.
“We are very excited about the event. We hope it will be well attended.” Huling added. Coincidentally, the ceremony falls on the 10 year anniversary of the first dedication, and also on the 50 year anniversary of the Korean War.
In addition to the standing memorial to these veterans, the Korean/Vietnam Memorial Scholarship Fund has been a living tribute to their memory since 1995 at Cornell. Select dependents of Korean and Vietnam War veterans have benefited from the financial support it provides.
One of the recipients of this scholarship is Dana Alexander ’04.
“It’s an honor to receive this scholarship. My grandfather was a veteran in the Korean war, and he passed away my freshman year just when I received [the scholarship]. I think it makes me respect the scholarship a
little more and my grandfather as well.” Alexander said.
Archived article by Mary Chu