Rob Lamborn, rector of Otey Parish, and University Chaplain Tom Macfie will lead a brief service at 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Memorial Cross on Tennessee Avenue in Sewanee. All members of the community are invited to attend. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1918.
Sewanee’s Memorial Cross was completed in 1923 to commemorate those from Sewanee who were killed in World War I; the memorial has since been expanded to include all those from Franklin County who have served in all wars since WWI. The foundation for the Cross was laid on Nov. 11, 1922; all members of the university and the larger community had been invited to participate in the work of clearing underbrush and digging the foundation. Its completion was celebrated on June 18, 1923.
The white cross, 53 feet tall, can be seen for many miles across the valley. It was renovated and restored in 1983 with new landscaping and lighting, and was rededicated on May 8 of that year.
Armistice Day background: On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as “the Great War.” Though the treaty to mark the official end of the war was signed in June 1919, Nov. 11 was still viewed as the date that marked the end of WWI. The following year, President Woodrow Wilson commemorated Nov. 11 as Armistice Day. In 1954, Congress amended the 1938 act that had made Armistice Day a holiday, and created Veterans Day to honor American veterans of all wars.