Alumni: Veterans Day

Six former students died during
‘War to End All Wars,’ World War I

Today is Veterans Day, when we pause to thank everyone who has served in the U.S. military through the years. Texas State will mark the day with ceremonies in the Quad beginning at 10:45 a.m.

The holiday began as Armistice Day, marking the end of hostilities in World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. So it’s only fitting that we honor the former Texas State students who died in the service during what was called at the time the Great War, or the War to End All Wars.

The 1918-19 edition of the Pedagog yearbook was dedicated to them, with photos of five of them in the opening pages. The dedication read, “To the men, who have been students of the Southwest Texas State Normal College, and who, when the call for champions of right, justice and liberty came, so valiantly gave their lives both in the camp and on the battlefield that peace might be the inheritance of all the world, we the students of 1918-1919, dedicate the sixteenth volume of the Pedagog.”

Jack Arnold

Perhaps the most notable former student to be killed in the war was Jack Arnold, who was the son of history professor M.L. Arnold. The younger Arnold finished his sophomore year in San Marcos and enlisted in 1917. After training, he was sent to France in July 1918, and he died on Oct. 18, 1918, less than a month before the armistice.

His grief-stricken father wrote a number of poetic eulogies, including one published in the 1918-19 Pedagog entitled “The Deathless Dead:”

Kenneth Gardner

The deathless dead, they shall not die,
They’ll still live on in memory and dreams,
Tho’ far away their mould’ring bodies lie
Where once rang out the golden bells of Reims,
On Argonne wood or Flanders’ harried plain,
By Verdun’s scarred and crumbling piles,
While ‘round them once more springs the ‘rip’ing grain,
And o’er their tombs the blushing poppy smiles;

Henry Whipple

For freemen in the coming years,
As long as men are free,
As long as Valor’s death endears,
As long as honor yet may be,
With words of love and looks of pride,
With glowing cheek and kind’ling eye,
Will tell of how they died;
The deathless dead, they shall not die.

A portion of the poem is included on the World War I memorial, which was erected in 2007 as part of the Veterans Memorial Garden on campus.

Joe Stribbling

Kenneth S. Gardner, a 1913 graduate of the Normal, was killed even closer to the end of the war; the died in France on Nov. 2, 1918.

Henry Whipple actually died after the armistice; he was wounded on Oct. 8 and succumbed in a hospital in France on Nov. 19.

Joe Stribbling was killed without ever leaving the United States. He caught the flu, which killed thousands in the United States in 1917-18, at one of the crowded camps where the soldiers were sent for training.

David Haile

David Haile, died from measles, another disease spread through the camps, in 1917, and William Harris died from a heart problem in San Antonio military hospital in 1917 as well. (Harris was not pictured in the 1918-19 edition of the Pedagog, which is the source of the other photos.)

In 1954, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day, to honor those who fought in all the nation’s wars.

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