Two service flags honoring the lives of Texas A&M students, faculty and staff who served in World War I, especially those who lost their lives, changed hands in a ceremony on April 6. The flags returned home to College Station from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in Austin on the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into the conflict.
“One hundred years have passed since the U.S. entered this fray, now nearly out of the range of living memory,” said Texas Director and Librarian of the State Library and Archives Commission Mark Smith. “But that in no way diminishes the honor and the courage of those who served or the horrors of that global war.”
The ceremony served as a reminder of the service, bravery and sacrifices of the Americans who served in WWI and the importance of the archives, artifacts and archival collections in preserving those memories for future generations, Smith said.
State Senator Charles Schwertner called the flags “symbols of the longstanding tradition of national service and a monument to the memories of the honored fallen.”
Schwertner went on to recognize the many Aggies who answered the call in every American conflict in the century since the Great War. “From the beaches of Normandy to the sands of Iwo Jima, from the mountains of Korea to the jungles of the Mekong Delta, from the poppy fields of Afghanistan to the deserts of Iraq,” he said Aggies have proudly and fearlessly defended the nation, preserving its freedoms and liberties, for generations.
“The proud tradition of military service at Texas A&M University is unlike any other, and the brave men and women we remember and honor here today exemplify that fighting Texas Spirit, of which we should all be so proud,” Schwertner said.
State Archivist Jelain Chubb, State Representative John Raney and Dean of Texas A&M University Libraries David Carlson also shared comments before the flags exchanged hands. Provost and Executive Vice President Karan Watson and General Joe Ramirez (Ret.), Commandant of the Corps of Cadets, were present to accept the flags on behalf of the university.