War Memorial Gymnasium Stands as Reminder on UI Campus for Fallen Students

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The University of Idaho held their own veteran remembrance ceremony Friday morning. 2017 marks the one-hundred-year anniversary of the United States entering World War I. A century later, one building on the UI campus is dedicated to the fallen's everlasting service.

"Our nation, every November 11th, continues to honor veterans, especially the fallen," says Lieutenant Colonel Dan Button (retired).

The War Memorial Gymnasium on the University of Idaho campus, dedicated to remembering, and honoring the memory of every Idahoan and Vandal that has made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

"War Memorial Gymnasium, immortalizes forever, 1,343 of our brothers and sisters from the Spanish American War we remember 41, from World War I, we remember 815," Lt. Col. Button announced to a crowd.

From World War II, another 252 fallen remembered, 11 more from the Korean War, 224 more from Vietnam, and an unknown number from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Retired US Marine Lieutenant Colonel Dan Button's connection to this ceremony is all the more important.

"I enlisted 1972 out of Lewiston High School. Served just a couple years then got out. Came here on the GI bill as a first generation college student."

After his college years, Lieutenant Colonel Button was commissioned again, and served another 24 years in the armed forces as a Second Lieutenant, being deployed during Desert Storm. And now after his years of service, Lieutenant Colonel Button is humbled and honored to return to the university he called home decades ago.

"Now I'm able to help the next generation of veterans come to school here on the GI bill." He says mentoring the next generation is what keeps him going. He hopes everyone remembers the fallen, and honors veterans across the nation. The gymnasium broke ground in 1927, and was completed in 1929.

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