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Memorial Day – Cornell Class of 1944

Memorial Day – Cornell Class of 1944

“sacrificed their lives during World War II in defense of our country so that freedom might triumph and endure”

Cornell Law School graduation was held this year at the campus sports arena used for basketball games. It was the first time that I can remember that the sports complex was used for that purpose, and the faculty met in the Class of 1944 room as we awaited the processional.

If you want to watch, you can view it here.  And yes, I am in it, but you’ll have to find me. After that, I’ll show you my vacation pictures.

While waiting, I saw this plaque on the wall:

There’s something very sobering about these type of memorial plaques. Each name represents a life lost in service of the country, by a person who, as the plaque says, “sacrificed their lives during World War II in defense of our country so that freedom might triumph and endure.”

More than lives have been lost by the loss of these men.

I haven’t been able to find out a lot about the Cornell Class of 1944, but there is some information available.

At the Class of 1944 website I found this photo. I was not able to figure out if any of the men in this photo also are on the memorial plaque.

That website also has a more formal image of the plaque, with this statement:

They are not forgotten.

     As a Cornell ’44 veteran of World War II, I was asked to provide a few words for our website page that’s dedicated to those of our classmates who gave their lives while in wartime service to their country. This is not an easy thing for me to do for like a great many of you, I knew some of these deceased ’44’s intimately. . . .

The inscription that’s shown on the computer-generated plaque appearing immediately below tells it better than any words I might add, and I’d like to leave it at that . . .

The Class memorial to our 31 classmates is in the form of a large two foot by three foot bronze plaque – a photograph of which also appears below. The plaque is mounted on the south wall of our Class of 1944 Memorial Room in Bartels Hall and was the first item of memorabilia of the ’40’s to be placed in the Memorial Room.

Russ Kerby
, VP, New Jersey, Class of 1944


A little bit of trivia. Kurt Vonnegut was a Cornell student—class of 1944—but cut his time at Cornell short when he enlisted in the army in 1943. He was captured by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge, and spent the rest of the war in a prison camp in Dresden.

If any readers are able to find out more about the men listed on that plaque, please post in the comments.

Here are members of the Cornell Class of 1944, at a reunion in 2014 (via Cornell University Communications).

On this day we remember all the others who fell “in defense of our country so that freedom might triumph and endure,” including several people we have been writing about in the past years.

Air Force Lt. Roslyn Schulte

Cpl Daniel Porto

CIA officer Johnny “Mike” Spann

May their memories be a blessing.



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Real heroes. And they didn’t cover their faces and call themselves ‘antifa’, even though they were fighting actual fascists.

BTW, I’m a bit surprised the snowflakes haven’t claimed they’re triggered by that plaque, and demanded that it be removed.

It is a wonderful surprise that such a plaque still exists at Cornell.

Thank you Professor.

Thanks, Professor.

O/T a little bit (sorry!)

Last night we watched a Live from the White House, Salute to Our Troops performance (2014 version). There was nothing else on.

The usual suspects (Willie Nelson, Mary J. Blige) were on, but one guy was a “poet” and rapper from Chicago named Common. He gave a decidedly anti-war, anti-military performance. Øbama and Michelle gave him a standing ovation.

It made me sick.

Close The Fed | May 29, 2017 at 11:28 am

Not sure if this is off-topic or not, but this seems a good place and time to discuss.

I heard Secretary Kelly talk about Memorial Day on Fox and Friends the other day and he said, while you’re out BBQing or at the mattress sale, spend a minute to remember the day. I’ve read a comment by a child whose Dad was killed in action, that this isn’t a day to have fun.

I believe the character of this day in our culture is incompatible with a reflective, somber and appropriate show of remembrance and gratitude for our fallen soldiers. In our culture, this is typically the first day of summer, when graduations and weddings occur, and when school is over. As such, it’s a more natural day for celebration than somber grateful reflection.

I believe Memorial Day should be the 2nd Wednesday of May, so that it can’t be altered into a 3-day weekend, and so that it doesn’t coincide with the end of our normal winter commitments & beginning of summer.

Today really would be better for “national bbq day.”

I concur with the young boy who commented Memorial Day shouldn’t be a day of fun and frolic, but its placement on the calendar renders it naturally so.

Prof. Jacobson’s blog documents the cancer of SJW/BDS/antisemitism on college campuses/Cornell and I’m struck by the disproportionate number of Jews on the 1944 Class list who died so Cornell class 2018 can live “free”. Too bad that history is a dead subject.

My alma mater has the names from the four big 20th century wars carved into the marble of the main lobby. They’re not segregated by class, though.

The big one in my home town is for the Civil War. Rather a lot of names for a tiny and remote New England village.

I don’t recall ever seeing an American town which has allowed its war monuments to decay.