Photo courtesy of Kelley Memorials
Originally dedicated in 1924, Memorial Stadium honored the 189 Illini who died in World War I. Each is memorialized on one of the limestone columns that support the stadium’s upper stands. While the stadium was originally dedicated to those who gave their lives in the “war to end all wars,” its original supporters recognized the fragility of world peace and the likelihood of sacrifice by future generations.
On November 16, 2002, the University of Illinois extended the stadium’s original dedication to honor all members of the Illinois family who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and, in particular, those who gave their lives in our nation’s wars and conflicts.
The new veterans’ memorial honors the 948 alumni, students, faculty and staff who were killed in our nation’s wars and conflicts since 1918. Their names are engraved on one of four impressive limestone tablets at the entrances to Memorial Stadium’s east and west colonnades alongside the names of their fallen World War I comrades.