The World War I Memorial Stadium at K-State was officially dedicated on Friday, April 7, 2017. Forty-eight K-State students served in the war but did not make it home. In the last 100 years, their history was lost, and it took a 1996 graduate of K-State to find it.
It started with a picture taken during a reunion trip to K-State. Jed Dunham began his career at K-State because, as he says, “Frankly, they took me.” He had no K-State or Kansas connections and arrived in 1989 after attending high school in Switzerland. While at K-State, Dunham was on the lacrosse team. In 2014 he came back for the team’s 25th reunion. On the trip, he took several photos, including one of a small plaque on the wall of Memorial Stadium, or “the Old Stadium” as many called it, where the lacrosse team had played. It was a quick photo, with little thought given at the time. Little did he know that day and that photo would eventually have a profound impact on his life.
A few days later, he was going back through the photos he had taken and ran across the one from the Old Stadium. He noted the names on the plaque: 48 total. He looked up a name online out of curiosity, but his search resulted in nothing. How could there be nothing about this person from Kansas? He decided to try another name. Again, nothing. He searched more, with nothing coming up — who were these 48 K-State students with no history?
Dunham has devoted the last three years to searching, and even moved back to Manhattan. He has begun to write the unwritten history — the lost stories of the “48 Fallen, 48 Found,” the title of his project — providing a story of the American WWI experience through the eyes of the 48 fallen.
Links to full articles: