The purpose of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, is to prepare South Carolina's citizen soldiers. It is a purpose which has existed from The Citadel's founding in 1842. Though I was less than a model cadet, I am proud to have graduated from this institution as a member of the class of 1995. Today, as I was reading the news, I was humbled to learn that The Citadel will honor the class of 1944.
In the history of The Citadel, there are very few instances where a class did not graduate with the exception of the period of time when The Citadel was occupied by federal troops after the Civil War. One such class which did not graduate was the class of 1944. The reason they didn't graduate was simple: they were called to serve in World War II. Of that class, 34 lost their lives fighting for the United States. Their names, and the names of all other known Citadel war dead, are on the wall of Summerall Chapel on The Citadel campus. At the commencement ceremonies they will be honored.