LT Memorial wall in proposal process


The memorial currently outside LT honoring LT students’ service. (Gremer/LION)

Liz Gremer, Reporter

Based on different primary sources found from different war time periods, plans for a memorial wall to honor LT’s history and connections to various wars, most notably WWI, are in the process of being pitched, wall sponsor Patrick Page said.

“When we talk about service, I don’t think it should just be about the veterans,” Page said. “We should talk about the LT effort as well.”

While the project still has many details to work out, the overall proposal has been approved. Although plans for the memorial wall have been in the works since 2017, the physical construction and painting of wall will likely begin during spring of 2019, Page said.

Despite the layout of the wall is still not official, the location of the wall would be by the cafeteria, Page said. Page’s original concept for the wall included incorporation of the American flag on the wall, metallic background, as well as the projection of different photos and sources on a television near the wall.

“The planned location by the cafeteria would bring [the artifacts] more into contact with students who can see them every day,” Page said. “We have a great opportunity to show our pride in what our graduates have done in the service.”

In addition to Page’s involvement in the project, other contributors included  Megan Galbreath ‘17 and Liz Becker ‘17. Both graduates took Page’s AP Art History class their senior and became involved in the project when it was just beginning.

“I was interested in the project for a few reasons,” Becker said. “I personally love getting to do research, and secondly, I thought the subject matter itself was interesting as an LT student who had always wanted to learn more about the history of NC.”

Both Galbreath and Becker dedicated consuming amounts of time to researching and gathering information to be used in the wall. Galbreath alone likely spent around 60 hours doing research for the project, Page said.

Unknown products and items were discovered after research and the gathering of different primary sources were discovered. While every connection to the war is unique, some particular artifacts discovered in the research were especially eye-catching, Page said.

“People don’t know it is there,” Page said. “People have forgotten about it. It’s literally stuff you see everyday, and you don’t realize it’s there.”

In addition to LT male students being on the frontlines, the war effort in the LaGrange community was strong, Page said. At LT, male students voted to take military battalion instead of gym in 1918, and female students formed a Red Cross group.

There is also documentation showing the American Legion hosted assemblies and speakers at LT, Page said. Speakers who visited during this period include famed pilot Amelia Earhart and the Von Trapp family singers.

“The images, photos and advertisements I came across were by far the highlights,” Becker said. “It was so important to gain that understanding in order to figure out how to look for the most relevant information in each time period.”