A ceremony today at Iowa State University will honor five former I.S.U.students who died in the Vietnam and Iraq wars. I.S.U.spokeswoman Kathy Svec explains why the five are being remembered. The four Vietnam veterans had been previously overlooked: Rickey Swaney, Stephen Rushing, Jerry Clark and Thomas Carrington. The fifth, Paul Finken, died in the Iraq War.
The names will be placed in the Gold Star Hall of the I.S.U. Memorial Union. The hall contains the names of 550 former students who have died in wars since the first World War. Svec says the ceremony is to begin at 2:30 this afternoon. She says the bulk of the ceremony will be telling the personal stories of each of the five men, hoping to make them come alive as individuals. Svec explains why the Gold Star Hall is called by that name.
She says a tradition that began during World War One saw families put a blue star in their front windows if they had a member of their family serving in the war. If that family member became a casualty, it was changed to a gold star. Today’s ceremony is open to the public.