“The community of Topeka and Washburn University did an incredible job here,” said Senator Roger Marshall. “I was obviously moved once I saw how beautiful this memorial is. For so many of us who served in the military and with each branch represented here, but the statue is especially moving, a soldiers helmet, the M16 they would have used in that era as well, but no one there, just the equipment.”
The new memorial centers around a bronze fallen soldier sculpture telling the story of Washburn`s military veterans and a seven-foot-tall stone bearing all 47 names of those who served and died in Vietnam. The Vietnam memorial is joined by seven additional standing stones arranged around the perimeter to commemorate each of the U.S. military`s six branches of service plus one additional in recognition of the many nurses who also served in war. The site is anchored with three flagpoles flying the American, Kansas and POW/MIA flags.
“Washburn has a proud history of our relationship to veterans,” said JuliAnn Mazachek, president of Washburn University. “We are here today to dedicate a memorial to honor these heroes who unselfishly placed their lives on the line for our freedom. This memorial commemorates their achievements, their courage and their dedication. We are committed to continuing our work to ensure these heroes receive an exceptional education and are ready for the workforce after their service.”
Washburn is proud to continue to provide resources and support to veteran students who have served with honor. The university has been recognized as the first Purple Heart University in Kansas and as a Military-Friendly School.
“As we visited with alumni and friends about this project on campus, it was inspiring to hear their stories of service to their country,” said Marshall Meek, president, Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation. “Having a memorial commensurate with the valor and sacrifice of veterans is important to Washburn, and we thank all of the donors who helped us honor those who served.”