Photo by University Communications

New Tradition and Mementos Honor Veterans at Memorial Stadium

By Randy York

Last Sunday, 350 Big Red fans celebrated the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day inside the East Memorial Stadium Concourse. Ronnie Green, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor, and Bill Moos, Nebraska’s Athletic Director, have a special place in their hearts for UNL and veterans – as both their fathers served.

Nebraska Athletics has strong administrators at the top, including President Hank Bounds, Green and Moos, and many more who are in lock step with both. While Green and Moos are not Nebraska alums, they both got goose bumps when they heard Nebraska’s National Guard 43rd Army Band.

Sunday’s Veterans Tribute
Both Green and Moos were genuinely moved when they watched UNL’s Pershing Rifle Team perform, followed by UNL’s Naval ROTC and the Detachment Color Guard.

The service concluded with a moment of silence came next. Then the playing of Taps. The University of Nebraska’s Color Guard retired the colors wearing original uniforms from WWI.

What a poignant experience for everyone inside the stadium on a beautiful morning that followed Nebraska’s ice-cold lopsided win over Illinois last Saturday.  

Green’s father, a WWII veteran, served in Germany and is proud that Nebraska built Memorial Stadium to honor all who served. When the stadium was built, two spots were earmarked on each side of the Gate 20 main entrance for special plaques to honor those who served in World War I. However, the plaques were either never made, or never hung.

During this special tribute event, two new plaques were dedicated in place. One honors General John Pershing, who had an integral part in our Military and Naval Sciences at the University of Nebraska. The other plaque lists the names of 113 UNL students who answered the call to serve in the war to end all wars, including 10 Husker letterwinners.

“We are all honored to have these new displays inside Memorial Stadium where they belong,” Moos said.

‘We will never forget’
Nebraska’s Athletic Director and his wife, Kendra, both had fathers who served in the military. Kendra’s 87 year-old father served in the Navy. His unit was called Frogman, which is known today as the Navy SEALS. “I wouldn’t mess with him,” Moos said, adding that they also have a nephew in the Army in Afghanistan.

“My father served in WWII,” Moos said. “He received two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. As I played war as a kid with my buddies in the 50’s, I begged my dad to tell me stories about the war. He never would. He just said the real heroes never came home.”

Moos is well aware that Roscoe ‘Dusty’ Rose was a Nebraska football player who died serving his country in WWI before he could lead his teammates as a senior captain a century ago.

“We will never forget our student-athletes,” Moos said. “We also will never forget those missing in action and those who became prisoners of war.”

New NU Tradition
Moos shared a new tradition that began with the first home game this year in Memorial Stadium to honor those whose who served but whose fate is unknown.

At every home football game, a veteran will be recognized as an honorary POW / MIA Chair Sentinel and will sit next to an unoccupied seat in Section 33, Row 18 and Seat 27. Let the record show that Brook Berringer wore No. 18 and Sam Foltz wore No. 27 .

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