Kaitlin Sweeney

Alumni Memorial Chapel

Journal Entry

by Kaitlin Sweeney


This chapel located on the Michigan State University campus is “In honor of those who served their country and in memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice” as it states above the front doors. Also above the doorway is a carving of a person with the words, “Pax et Amitas” which means “Peace and Friendship.” the Chapel was built in 1951 by President John Hannah in memory of past and present MSU students, then Michigan State College, who served in WWII as well as the Civil War, the Spanish American War and the First World War. This chapel was not built only to remember those who lost their lives but all those who sacrificed greatly while fighting to protect our country.

Inside the chapel there is an arrave of stained glass windows. These windows represent three universal themes: mankind, religion, and university histories. As a student some of the windows were very personal to me such as leadership, truth, learning, aspiration and freedom. These are things I am looking for through my college education here at MSU. These stained glass windows were really beautifully done, and some were sponsored by a class or a family in memory of a soldier.

When you first enter the chapel there is a wall covered with all the names of the soldiers who had attended MSU, as well as the year they graduated, or would have graduated. There were so many men it was amazing to see what an impact the war had on MSU at the time. Also along the walls are bricks from European Cathedrals that were bombed during the war. Included in these bricks were a brick from the White House and a rock from Westminster Abbey.

The one part of the chapel that hit me the most was the plaque on the front pulpit. This plaque was in memory of a young man who died during the war. He was a recent high school graduate planning to attend MSU when he was released from the the military. This caught my attention. I finally realized that the men who served in WWII were the same age as I am. They were young boys of 19 and 20 carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. They were alone half way around the world fighting and struggling to survive, while I am worried about leaving home for a safe school only an hour away. It is amazing that someone so young could be so courageous and strong.

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