Soldiers Memorial Gate was dedicated on April 6, 1921, the fourth anniversary of the entry to the United States into the first World War. The addresses on this occasion were delivered by Major General Charles P. Summerall, Lieutenant Colonel Noble B. Judah ’04 for the alumni, Major Zinovi Pechoff of the French Foreign Office, and Henry T. Samson ’19 for the students. The design by Charles A. Coolidge of Boston kept the monument severely plain, inspired by the Greek temple where all ornament is confined to the upper members. The plain walls of the Gate are crowned with wreaths of oak leaves, which were given only to those who saved another’s life on the battlefield, symbolizing the unselfishness of the dead, and with laurel sprays signifying victory. The winged figures supporting the panels above also signify victory, and the eagle with draped flag and the shields are national symbols.
The inscriptions on the Gate are:
In the center:
To the men of Brown who in the World WarOn the left, from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem “Sacrifice”:
Gave their lives that freedom may endure.
‘Tis man’s perdition to be safeOn the right, from Winifred Letts’s poem “The Spires of Oxford”:
When for the truth he ought to die.
They gave their merry youth awayThe names of the 42 men of Brown (41 students and alumni and one faculty member), who lost their lives in the War are inscribed on the gate.
For country and for God.