Memorial Day
May 31, 1999

Images from the
National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers
Dayton, Ohio

To Our Fallen Comrades:

These were honorable men in their generations.

Master of Caius' Exhortation to Freshmen
Thursday, October 10, 1919
from the movie Chariots of Fire

I take the War list, and I run down it. Name after name, which I can not read, and which we who are older than you can not hear without emotion. Names which will only be names to you, the new college, but which to us summon up face after face full of honesty and goodness, zeal and vigor, and intellectual prowess. ...

And now by tragic necessity their dreams have become yours. Let me exhort you: Examine yourselves. Let each of you discover where your true chance of greatness lies. For their sakes, for the sakes of your college and your country, seize this chance, rejoice in it, and let no power or persuasion deter you in your task.

After fleeing from Kentucky to Ohio, Paul Laurence Dunbar's father served in the Fifty-Fifth Massachusetts regiment. In The Colored Soldiers Dunbar expressed pride in their service as well as the belief that their service had vindicated the "Sons of Ham:"

And their deeds shall find a record
    In the registry of Fame;
For their blood has cleansed completely
    Every blot of slavery's shame.
So all honor and all glory
    To those noble sons of Ham-
The gallant colored soldiers
    Who fought for Uncle Sam!

No vision of the morrow's strife
The warrior's dream alarms.
No braying horn no screaming fife
At dawn shall call to arms.