Memorials on Campus
The Missouri Gold Star Families Memorial
The Missouri Gold Star Families Memorial honors Gold Star Families, preserves the memory of the fallen, and stands as a stark reminder that freedom is not free. The College, in cooperation with the Hershel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, established this monument to pay tribute to Gold Star Families. One side pays tribute to all Gold Star Mothers, Fathers, and Relatives who lost a loved one in military service. The other side symbolizes the State of Missouri by depicting Homeland, Family, Patriot and Sacrifice:
Homeland: The flowering dogwood, Missouri’s state tree, anchors the first panel featuring a grist mill, which is a longstanding historical site along the beautiful rivers throughout our state.
Family: The family photo is a representation of families, near and far, who have lost a loved one in service to our country.
Patriot: The hoisting of the flag at Iwo Jima symbolizes the patriots who served, many who died, defending the ideals of freedom on behalf of our great nation.
Sacrifice: The solemn photo of the young man paying respects at a military cemetery (insert cemetery name here) reminds us to always remember and respect those who died and to honor the families they left behind.
A silhouette of a saluting service member in the center represents the Loved One who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the name of Freedom.
The Missouri Vietnam Veterans Memorial
College of the Ozarks is home to the State of Missouri's Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The memorial, which honors the lives of the 1,410 men and women from Missouri who lost their lives serving during the Vietnam War, is located at the entrance to the campus, near the Alumni Center.
The walls of the memorial are divided because this country was divided. In between the two walls stands a statue of Vietnam Veterans, representing those who served in Vietnam and returned home to live the rest of their lives with memories of war. A flower bed in the shape of the letter “V” for valor displayed a bed of red roses, representing the blood shed by servicemen and women.
For more information on this special memorial, please click here.
Located next to the Missouri Vietnam Veterans Memorial is Veterans Grove. Each tree planted in the grove represents a veteran who has traveled with students to various points of battle around the world as a part of the College's patriotic travel program. At the base of each tree rests a stone bearing the name of the veteran.
The Alumni Veterans Memorial
The Alumni Veterans Memorial is located on the lawn adjacent to the library, south of the Williams Memorial Chapel.
The memorial contains the names of College of the Ozarks alumni who fought in the armed services and paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives.
In 2013 a new memorial was erected and dedicated to replace an earlier memorial which had become weathered, and was not large enough to accommodate additional names. When the original memorial was placed in 1983, two names, Melvin Smith who attended S of O in the 1940s and Anthony Blair, S of O HS class of 1962, were inadvertently not listed. The new memorial pays tribute to Smith and Blair, and other sons of the School of the Ozarks who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
September 11 "Lest We Forget Memorial"
College of the Ozarks recognizes the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, as a national tragedy wherein nearly 3,000 innocent lives were taken. The College honors those fallen heroes each year on September 11, so that they are not forgotten.
On September 11, 2015, the College dedicated the "Lest We Forget" 9/11 Memorial. This memorial includes one of the last remaining remnants of the World Trade Center structure. This piece of steel was donated to the College by Tommy McHale, a retired police officer, who wanted to honor the 37 fallen men and women officers from the Port Authority for New York and New Jersey who perished on 9/11.
The structure is referred to as "St. Michael’s 37." St. Michael is considered the patron saint of police officers and represents strength to face the threat of evil and imminent danger.
Students were an integral part of the dedication service. Fourth grade students from the College's Truitt S. Cathy Lower School made a special presentation to the families of the fallen. College students representing law enforcement, fire fighting, and the military unveiled the steel beam, which is the centerpiece of the memorial. The College is intentional about involving students in such importance remembrances to help them learn, so that we never forget.