This year marks the 100th anniversary of the First World War and exactly fifteen years ago, a group of Bloomsburg University students and staff decided that they wanted to recreate the memorial that was forgotten. In 1919, sixteen Bloomsburg University students lost their lives during the war and Bloomsburg State Normal School wanted to remember the fallen by having a ceremony. In the memorial, there were sixteen standing trees to represent each student who died serving their country .
May 30th 1919 was the day that the memorial ceremony was held. Next spring will be the 100th anniversary of the first memorial and Bloomsburg University’s archivist Robert Dunkelberger is hoping to have a memorial ceremony then for the anniversary. In 2003 a rededicated memorial took place when students in the history department were bothered on how the site looked. They took initiative to preserve the War Memorial Pinery and went forward in planning what would be now the same boulder sitting behind Schuylkill Hall.
The dedication replaced six new pine trees, with the name of the students on each of the sixteen small bronze plaques and two large bronze plaques. There are also four benches surrounding the memorial for people to sit .They fundraised by selling t-shirts and more. The re-dedication ceremony started off with the raise of the United States flag, then later a tribute to the heroes remembered at the Pinery, dedication of the trees and a moment of silence.
The sixteen fallen included John Henry Andres, Jr., John Henry Hodder, Walter Page, Meryl Grace Phillips, David Owen Williams, Karl Groff West, Thomas Turner, Hawley B. Olmstead, and more. Some of these students died from illness at the camps, during battle, or in aircraft. As this year marks the 100th anniversary of their deaths, BU remembers the former students that died for their country.