Memorial Tower on the Louisiana State University campus will be rededicated April 7 at 7 p.m. in a ceremony that brings to life the “Ole War Skule’s” military heritage.
Memorial Tower, funded by The American Legion of Louisiana in the early 1920s as a memorial for the state’s World War I fallen, has undergone a nearly $15 million restoration in recent years.
The project includes opening of the William A. Brookshire LSU Military Museum wings flanking the 175-foot bell tower, with modernized exhibit displays, video panels, newly curated artifacts and more. The entire plaza in front of the tower has also been re-engineered to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
National, department and local American Legion leaders are among dignitaries who will be on hand for the ceremony at the heart of LSU’s Baton Rouge campus. Attendees must be seated by 6:15 p.m. that day for preliminary events, including an F-15 flyover and a video, “LSU in Uniform: The Long Purple Line.”
Those who wish to learn more about seating at the ceremony or the museum, which is open to the public, can email Cadets of the Ole War Skule at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-866-SALUTES (8837). More information is also available at http://olewarskule.lsu.edu/ on the web.
Re-enactors are also set to portray for visitors of the ceremony some of LSU’s notable military figures, including he school’s first superintendent, then Col. William Tecumseh Sherman.
American Legion posts across Louisiana raised more than $225,000 for Memorial Tower’s original construction – about $3.5 million in 2022 dollars – which was dedicated the year LSU moved from its earlier downtown Baton Rouge location to its sprawling campus on the city’s south side. American Legion National Commander John McQuigg spoke at the 1926 original dedication event, as did Lejeune. Over the decades, Memorial Tower became one of the university’s most visible architectural features, but interior and exterior renovations became necessary in recent years.
Memorial Tower and its meaning are featured in the March 2022 issue of The American Legion Magazine.