In UD's Memorial Hall, a Book of the Dead contains the names of all Delawareans who died in World War I. A ceremony on May 10 in the Roselle Center for the Arts will commemorate the lives and sacrifice of those who died in that war.

May 10: Remembering the dead

Ceremony to commemorate Delawareans who died in World War I


1:14 p.m., May 3, 2016--A ceremony at the University of Delaware on Tuesday, May 10, will commemorate the lives and sacrifice of Delawareans who died in World War I.

The event, which is open to the public, will begin at 2:30 p.m. in Gore Recital Hall of the Roselle Center for the Arts on the University’s Newark campus and will be followed by a reception.

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Guests will include UD Acting President Nancy Targett and Maj. Gen. Francis Vavala, adjutant general of the Delaware National Guard.

The ceremony is hosted by the Department of English, and students in the department’s capstone Literary Studies Seminar taught by Associate Prof. Bernard McKenna will tell some of the personal stories of those who died. 

McKenna gives this summary:

The men and women whose names are on Memorial Hall's bronze markers [the campus building was named to honor the 270 Delawareans who lost their lives in the First World War] worked on farms in Sussex County and in the shipyards along the Christina River.

They were musicians, nurses and students. They were born in Wilmington, Philadelphia and in Ireland.

As children, they played on streets and parks here in Newark and in Port Covington in South Baltimore. They went fishing on the Appoquinimink River and enjoyed crabbing and playing baseball.

They all left families behind and became Buffalo soldiers, Harlem Hellfighters, Engineers and Farriers. Many joined Delaware's own, the 59th Pioneer Infantry. Two of these men, by strange coincidence, lived, years apart, in the same house on Claymont Street in Wilmington. They also died on the same day.

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