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Duke Alumni War Memorial, Duke University, Durham
The Duke Alumni War Memorial is a low wall constructed of the same volcanic rock as the nearby Duke Chapel and Divinity School and many other campus buildings. The wall is topped along its entire length with pieces of concave beveled granite. In the beveled area of this top is a deeply incised inscription in honor of those who died while in service. On the flat top of the granite pieces are bronze plaques inscribed with the names of service men and women from Duke University who died while in service of their country. First dedicated in 1993 as a World War Two memorial with 236 names it was rededicated in 2009 when fifty-four names of those who died in conflicts since World War Two were added.
September 17, 1993. Rededication: October 23, 2009
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“Richard H. Brodhead: Remarks on the Rededication of the War Memorial,” Duke Today, today.duke.edu, October 28, 2009 (accessed December 17, 2015) Link
"Memorializing Duke's War Dead," January 31, 2010, (accessed August 19, 2020) Link
Jarmul, David. “University Honors Its Military Heroes,” Duke Today, today.duke.edu, October 23, 2009, (accessed November 27, 2016) Link
Roth, Bryan. “Duke in Pics: Commemorating Veterans Day: Duke community and others gather as part of annual campus event,” Duke Today, today.duke.edu, November 11, 2016, (accessed December 10, 2016) Link
“11 Interesting Facts About The Duke Forest,” Duke Forest, dukeforest.spotlight.duke.edu, (accessed November 27, 2016) Link
Volcanic stone and masonry wall with granite cap
The keynote speaker at the 2009 rededication was U.S. Veteran Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric Shinseki, a Duke alumnus and former Army Chief of Staff. "From a distance, these engraved names look alike," he said, but each is "a profound statement of love, patriotism and loyalty" to the families and friends who cared about the individuals being honored.
James B. Duke and Duke University’s first President, William Preston Few, while looking for the perfect stone to construct the university’s Gothic buildings came across samples of volcanic stone from an abandoned quarry in Hillsborough, NC. Thrilled with the mosaic of hues found in the rock, James B. Duke purchased the entire quarry. At least 400 million years old, the stone was formed by volcanic debris changed by heat and pressure and stained by weathering.
The memorial wall is located on Duke University campus, between the Duke University Divinity School Library and Duke Chapel. The Duke Chapel address is 401 Chapel Drive and the Divinity School address is 407 Chapel Drive, Durham, NC.
Duke University holds an annual wreath laying ceremony at the wall each Memorial Day.