In 1919 the Bloomsburg State Normal School decided to remember its former students who died serving their country in the First World War. They felt so strongly about this they created a living memorial to these individuals. It consisted of white pine trees, each one representing one of the students. On Memorial Day, May 30, 1919, the Dedication Ceremony was held. Three years later a boulder was placed at the site with a marble tablet showing each tree and the student it represented.
1919 War Hero Memorial Pinery Dedication Ceremony
The Dedication Ceremony for the PInery, May 30th 1919. Photograph taken from Science Hall.
Hundreds of people turned out on Memorial Day in 1919 to honor those Bloomsburg State Normal School students who lost their lives while in service to their country during World War I. As the Bloomsburg Morning Press stated the following day:
"The memorial, as planned by the Senior class, and so well brought to accomplishment yesterday, was to give the school a grove, marked by a 75-foot Walworth steel flag pole, with the individual trees memorializing the heroes of the school who gave their lives in the war with the Huns, thus serving the double purpose of a Senior memorial to leave with the school, long a custom with the graduating class, and the school's method of memorializing the heroes who went out from the school to war."
The grove consisted of white pine trees laid out in the shape of a six-pointed star, with trees representing the heroes who gave their lives. The flag pole was temporarily mounted on a platform, but would be permanently installed two weeks later for Flag Day on June 14. In the future a marker containing the diagram shown on the front of the program would be put in place on a boulder, and it was hoped that once the trees were large enough each one would have a separate bronze plate with the name of hero and their war record.