(WICHITA, Kan.) — It's a landmark on the Wichita State University campus, but few remember the beginnings of Cessna Stadium.
It used to go by a different name, one honoring those who sacrificed for their country.
"It was dedicated just after I got back from the South Pacific at World War II," recalls veteran Phillip Blake.
It was November 25th, 1948 and the Shockers were losing to the University of Nevada when half-time took a different tone. Veterans Field was dedicated; veterans from the Air Force, Army, Navy and the Marines unveiled the plaque.
It took years to raise the $250,000 for the field. The goal was to honor the 17,800 men and women from Sedgwick County who fought in World War II.
But two decades later, history was forgotten. Phillip Blake remembers that. "I had a little resentment when the sign was taken down and it became Cessna Stadium," he says.
Now, all these years later, Wichita State commemorates the stadium's roots. On Veterans day the plaque was remembered on again, reading "dedicated as a living memorial, in grateful appreciation, to members of the Armed Forces from Sedgwick County who served our nation with honor and distinction in World War II." Those words will soon be up again at the stadium, so history won't be forgotten again.
"I feel greatly honored that they've seen fit to put the sign back up for us," says Blake.