CU Boulder will mark Veterans Day this week with ceremonies honoring Coloradans who are serving today and those who served in the past, including 1,650 military personnel who studied Japanese and other languages in Baker Hall during World War II.
The University Memorial Center will host the annual Veterans Day ceremony in the Glenn Miller Ballroom at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, with a keynote address by CU alumnus and retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Herman A. Shelanski.
A reception will follow at noon, and the event is open to all of campus and the community. The UMC will also rededicate a replica of the USS Colorado SSN-788 submarine bell and add two names to a glass wall in its Veterans Memorial Lounge to remember Coloradans who were killed in the line of duty.
“The UMC is honored to host the Veterans Day ceremony each year and to continue to serve as the state’s veterans memorial,” said Andrea Zelinko, director of the UMC.
“This event allows us to take a step back, reflect on the sacrifice of those who have and are serving, and to say thank you. We are grateful for the service of our veterans and for the support of campus partners and students who make this event possible each year,” she said.
Saturday’s football game featuring the Buffs hosting 10th-ranked Washington State will focus on military appreciation. Veterans will participate in the coin toss, and fans will see an oath of enlistment during one of the breaks in the game. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.
Japanese language school at CU Boulder
At 1 p.m. Friday in Baker Hall, the campus will dedicate a plaque in memory of the Japanese/Oriental Language School, which operated in the residence hall between 1942 and 1946 and was one of several World War II-era training centers set up across the country by the U.S. Navy.
According to university archivists, the language school recruited heavily among Phi Beta Kappa members and graduates of elite collegiate language, mathematics, physics and music programs and sought to prepare officers for naval and marine intelligence.
All graduates were expected to be proficient in Kanji, the characters used in written Japanese, said David M. Hays, an archivist with the CU Boulder library system’s special collections, archives and preservation department.
Hays said Japanese language training for American military personnel took place in Tokyo through 1940, but later moved stateside as diplomatic tensions rose.
The Japanese language school started at the University of California Berkeley, but “after the Pearl Harbor attack and West Coast anti-Japanese fervor, Executive Order 9066 forced the U.S. Navy Japanese language school to move,” Hays said.
At the time, Hays said, CU Boulder President Robert L. Stearns lobbied along with the U.S. Navy to acquire schools to make up for the departure of so many former CU students into the military, and the language school was established at CU Boulder.