The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Unknown patriot honors SMU veterans

(Courtesy of SMU)

By Christina Myers

Southern Methodist University’s World War I monument, a gift to the university by the class of 1924, hosts a mysterious guest with his only trace consisting of a few small American flags poking out of the crisp green grass.

The flags sit around the stone monument and plaque with the names of the 12 SMU students who lost their lives in World War I. The monument, near the intersections of Hillcrest and University on the west side of campus, goes undiscovered by many members of the SMU community.

Nancy George, SMU’s senior public information officer, works in the Perkins Administration Building near the monument. She enjoys SMU’s history and notices the flags periodically at the monument.

“They show up at Veterans Day, Memorial Day,” she said.

According to George, the flags are well cared for.

“They’re not just left to be rained on or faded,” she said.

After periods of time they disappear and are replaced weeks later.

One day George, on her way to lunch saw a man placing the flags on the monument.

“ I saw this man out there putting the flags and then he hopped on this bicycle and I chased him all the way across campus and caught up with him,” George said.

After speaking with him she discovered a few things about the man. He is a veteran and lives in the area around the university. For the most part he remained mysterious and said he would like to remain anonymous. Apparently this is something he decided to do on his own. The man did confirm that he talked to President R. Gerald Turner about leaving the flags.

“I’ve talked to President Turner, he knows I’m doing this,” the man told George.

Many members of the SMU campus feel grateful for what he does.

First-year Anna Proctor noticed the flags at the monument and felt touched because honoring veterans is of great importance to her.

“My cousin was a veteran who served in Iraq and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, so it means a lot that someone would be honoring veterans in this way,” Proctor said. “I encourage people to go to the monument because every American needs to acknowledge our veterans.”

Proctor acts as just one of SMU’s community that appreciates this gesture. First-year Alice Mamula also saw the flags and values their place on the WWI monument.

“Supporting veterans is something that I believe to be very important and something the SMU community should put more of an emphasis on,” Mamula, whose grandfather was a veteran, said.

Mamula encourages the SMU community to find the monument and take a moment there to reflect.

Even though they may just be little pieces of cotton waving in the breeze, to many they are much more than that. By placing the flags on the monument, this unknown patriot honors those who may unfortunately be forgotten. As Veterans Day approaches Tuesday, keep your eyes open for those little flags and take a minute to appreciate them.

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