November 11, 2005
Homecoming and Veterans Day fall on the same weekend at Oklahoma Baptist University, and OBU’s alumni veterans were commemorated this afternoon at the university’s Gold Star Park, at University and Kickapoo.
“We are gathered today on the 60th anniversary year of the Gold Star Memorial,” said Tom Terry, OBU university archivist, who mentioned that Gold Star Park was the first memorial in Oklahoma to honor World War II fallen heroes.
OBU’s class of 1945 made the memorial their class gift. Several churches and individuals joined in supporting the project.
The memorial features names of 27 alumni who were killed during World War II. Two additional names were added for men killed in the Vietnam conflict.
Terry addressed attendees, which included a half dozen war veterans, about the first ceremony at Gold Star Park, in May, 1945. He mentioned Rev. Eugene Foreman, who was the 1945 class president, participated with former OBU president John Raley in the placing of a wreath on the monument.
Foremen played a part in today’s ceremony, reading the names of the 29 OBU fallen veterans. He also joined current OBU president Mark Brister in the placing of the wreath.
“We observe both academic and spiritual freedom at Oklahoma Baptist University,” said Brister. “But this is not freedom that has been granted flippantly. We express our profound appreciation for those who have gone before us and those who stand today.”
Dr. Tony Litherland, OBU Randel/Scales professor of political science, gave remarks as a veteran and commander of American Legion Post 16.
“We mourn the loss of those who served and paid the ultimate price,” said Litherland, also acknowledging those who were prisoners of war and missing in action. “Today we remember what so many have given so that you and I might live to be free.”
Aaron Jameson, OBU senior church music major from Yakima, Wash., opened the ceremony with playing America The Beautiful on his trumpet and also performed Taps while Brister and Foreman placed the wreath.