AND MEMORIAL COURT REDEDICATION CEREMONY
On May 21, 2015, the school community gathered to observe Memorial Day and remember and honor McDonogh alumni who gave their lives in service to our country. This year, Memorial Court was rededicated following renovations to include the names of McDonogh Alumni who died during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
Video coverage by Cindy Green.
A light rain added to the somberness of McDonogh’s annual Memorial Day service and the rededication of Memorial Court on Thursday, May 21. The sacred space, originally dedicated in 1946 to honor McDonogh alumni who lost their lives in World War I and II, was recently refurbished to include the names of alumni who died in the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
The entire school community and more than 150 alumni and guests, many in their military uniforms, gathered to remember those who gave their lives for freedom and peace. Each student and guest was given a gold star pin to wear over their heart in remembrance of those who perished in the conflicts. The history of Memorial Court and the gold star is told in a video by Bridget Collins ’90, Director of Religious Studies, Character, and Service.
The program, which closely mirrored the original dedication and incorporated traditional Memorial Day elements, began with a flag raising ceremony. Tom Young ’70, Jon Aaron ’72, Jack D. ’16, and Izzy S. ’19 raised the American flag and the McDonogh flag as the Lower School led the singing of the National Anthem. The American flag which was raised was loaned to McDonogh by Ted Severe ’65 for the occasion. It is a remembrance flag which was first flown over the United States Capitol on July 4, 2001. Since that date, it has flown at Fort McHenry, Pearl Harbor, The American Cemetery in Normandy, France, and the Statue of Liberty.
Next, The McDonogh Uniform by Eustace Glascock, a member of the Class of 1879, was read by Mark Hasslinger ’64, Kristina W. ’16, Olivia G. ‘20, and Nathaniel B. ’24. When Memorial Court was dedicated in 1946, Glascock was present at age 85, and he recited his poem at the beginning of the ceremony. It’s most powerful line, “We give something more than we take,” became the McDonogh motto.
Following the recitation of the poem, Admiral Henry G. Chiles, Jr. ‘56 spoke about the importance of remembering the people whose names are etched in the granite on Memorial Court, emphasizing that they were students just like those gathered for the rededication. He said, “Like you, they played sports, ran, rode horses, threw Frisbees, swam, and studied hard. With the exception of the newer buildings, they studied and lived in many of the same rooms you now use.”
Before reading the 10 names of alumni recently added to the Memorial, Admiral Chiles said, “May we always treat this Memorial and the memory of the men whose names it displays with respect, dignity, and compassion for their sacrifice that we may better enjoy and appreciate our freedom.”
A wreath was then placed at the monument by Alumni Association President Michelle Mayer ’91 and rising Senior Class President Alex L. to officially rededicate Memorial Court. Then, a bugler played Taps in memory of those McDonogh Cadets who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
In closing, Headmaster Charlie Britton acknowledged the benefactors who made the refurbishment of Memorial Court possible, especially Admiral Chiles and Major General Joseph Franklin ‘51, who led the effort. He also thanked members of the Class of 1964 for their tremendous support of the project in honor of their 50th reunion. Britton shared that their generous class gift was made in memory of former Head of Upper School Dorothy Lamborn, a woman who impacted generations of McDonogh students from 1941 to 1973.
Before inviting everyone to sing the Alma Mater, Britton explained, “During the dedication of this Memorial in 1946, the McDonogh Choir sang Finlandia. Former Headmaster Dr. Robert Lamborn ’35, who was in attendance that day, was so inspired by the song and the moment that he chose to write the words of our Alma Mater to the same tune.”
Following the benediction, students and guests respectfully walked away in silence as the Chapel bell tolled 70 times for the 70 members of the McDonogh community who gave their lives in service to our country.