AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University's student union is named the "Memorial" Union for good reason. The building was created in 1928 as a memorial to Iowa Staters who died in World War I. Their names are engraved in the walls of the union's Gold Star Hall — the stained glass and column-adorned spatial expression of the memorial.
Decades after the building opened, more fallen former Iowa State students became known. In 1959, the names of World War II casualties were mounted on two bronze doors in the Memorial Union's zodiac foyer. In 1984, the names from World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam were engraved into the limestone inside Gold Star Hall. Name additions have also been made in 2003 and each year from 2006 through 2011, adding overlooked servicemen from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Somalia, as well as Iraq and Afghanistan.
The memorial tribute for fallen soldiers continues in this year's Gold Star Hall ceremony at 3:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. The ceremony is free and open to the public.
Two soldiers will be honored and remembered through personal stories and photos. Robert Lynn Hodson, Eldon, was killed in World War II, and his name is being added to the wall. James Lee Merrick Jr., Ames, died in Vietnam. His name was previously engraved into the limestone wall, but he will be honored this year for the first time.