Rededication Honors Medal of Honor Recipients, Service Personnel and Victims of Sept. 11 Attacks
University of Arkansas rededicates Memorial FlagpoleMonday, November 12, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas Veterans Week culminated in a rededication ceremony at the Memorial Flagpole honoring several groups: our nation’s armed service members, the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, and five university alumni who have all received the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Plaques at the base of the flagpole acknowledge the five Medal of Honor recipients. Four of the five men were World War II veterans: Capt. Maurice L. Britt (U.S. Army), Lt. Nathan Green Gordon (U.S. Navy), 1st Lt. Edgar H. Lloyd (U.S. Army), and Capt. Seymour W. Terry (U.S. Army). The fifth man, Col. James Stone, received his medal for service in the Korean War. Stone died this past Friday, Nov. 9. He was given special recognition during the ceremony.
Stone was born Dec. 27, 1922, in Pine Bluff, and enlisted in the Army in 1948. He received the Medal of Honor for actions taken on Nov. 21, 1951. During a late night attack by Chinese forces, Stone’s leadership and focus on the battlefield, even after being wounded, allowed him to cover the retreat of the “men who could still walk” before he lost consciousness and was taken prisoner by the Chinese forces. After his 22-month internment, Stone was released as part of a prisoner exchange on Sept. 3, 1953. His official citation reads: “Only because of this officer’s driving spirit and heroic action was the platoon emboldened to make its brave but hopeless last ditch stand.”
Mike Johnson, the university’s associate vice chancellor for facilities management and a retired rear admiral, spoke both on behalf of the university and Stone. Johnson served for almost 34 years in the U.S. Navy.
George Westmoreland, Arkansas’ civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army and a board member for the university’s Veterans Resource and Information Center, spoke on behalf of the university and his family’s contributions toward the funding of the memorial. Westmoreland and his wife Cheryl helped make the memorial possible with a generous gift to ensure that any and all who sacrificed will have an enduring memorial at the University of Arkansas.
Other speakers at the ceremony included: Erika Gamboa, director of the university’s Veterans Resource and Information Center and an Army Reservist, and University of Arkansas senior Matt Seubert, who spoke on behalf of the university students whose efforts were pivotal to the establishment of the memorial.
Those efforts began last year, during the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Students held a fund raising event to install a new flagpole in front of Old Main to honor those lost in the attack.
The University of Arkansas Division of Student Affairs, the Westmoreland family, the Veterans Resource and Information Center, Facilities Management, and student efforts led by Seubert all came together to fund the flagpole and memorial. During the ceremony each group was awarded one of the first flags flown over the memorial.
Scott Flanagin, director of communications
Division of Student Affairs
Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
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