Grand Island Memorial Stadium
Memorial Plaque is Unveiled
The Grand Island Independent - November 13, 1950
Lists 131 Names; Stand in Niche in East Stadium
A handsome bronze plaque containing the names of 131 Hall county men who died in two World Wars was unveiled Sunday afternoon at the Memorial Stadium.
While a crowd of 150, most of them relatives of the men whose names are memorialized on the plaque, stood on a cold and windy Sunday afternoon, a brief program of dedication was conducted by Grand Island Post No. 53 of the American Legion.
The plaque stands in the niche in the center of the east stadium which was prepared for that purpose. The names are in gold on the dark bronze, and in front of the niche is an American flag, which was run up by a color guard from the 134th Infantry.
Funds for the plaque were provided by the Legion through contributions and various money-raising ventures. Of the 131 names, 28 are from World War I, the other 103 from World War II.
It was a somber occasion, with the thoughts of those present going to Korea and the Far East, where World War III is a threat if not an actuality.
The program lasted only a little more than half an hour. The first 15 minutes were devoted to music by the Senior High School band, directed by Ralph Granere. This was followed by the raising of the flag by the color guard, which in turn was followed by an invocation given by the Rev. Anthony Egging, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.
The plaque was then unveiled, and formally presented to the board of education by E.C. Alcorn, commander of the Legion post. The response was made by Arch W. Jarrell, president of the board of education, who remarked that the board was grateful to the people of Grand Island and to the Legion for the stadium and plaque representing a $110,000 gift to the district. The stadium was built with funds contributed in a public campaign for funds, which was begun in 1944. The first game was played in the stadium in 1947.
Dr. Earle W. Wiltse, superintendent of schools, delivered an address in memory of the 131 men who died in the service.
After a reading of “In Flanders Field” by Rex Parks, the American Legion Auxiliary laid a wreath at the foot of the plaque, and the benediction was given by the Rev. Alton O. Kaul, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church.
Taps by Emmanuel Lukesh and Milo Stites concluded the program. Bayard H. Paine Jr. was master of ceremonies.
Do you have a memory of Memorial Stadium? We would love to hear how this stadium has affected your life. Share your stories here!