March 26, 2009

Cenotaph

"A small paddock-like enclosure surrounded the large gray rectangle that used to sit right here," the man would point out, "it was a popular place to meet back in my day."

Before you, sits a large wet rectangle, seemingly forever etched into the hewn granite blocks beneath your feet. As the man walks off, you follow the line of the rectangle with your feet. Delicately balancing between light gray and dark, as if you stood upon a wire. You start to search the area for evidence of what was once here, but no more.

1919-Harvey Kulloum dedicates memorial cenotaph to the fallen soldiers of the great war.
1921-The cenotaph is rotated 23 degrees as a prank by members of chi phi
1929-The university lovingly calls it the coffin's turnpoint.
1941-War breaks out over campus
1945-Second cenotaph erected adjacent to turned cenotaph
1955-The first cenotaph is replaced with a new marble one
1968-Both cenotaphs are destroyed in a Vietnam war protest
1970-University officially decides to not to replace the two damaged cenotaphs
1972-All remains of the cenotaphs have been removed and placed in storage
1979-dark spot appears on quad where the cenotaph once stood. Exactly 60 years to date.
1980-University powerwashes quad in an attempt to clean the square off
1981-Rectangle re-appears
1982-Paranormal researchers appear on campus, then leave when nothing interesting happens

But all this still is oblivious to you, as you stand on that dark graying rectangle. As you stand in the center, you stare at all four sides around you. There's only one phrase that comes to mind, as the hands and the faces of the fallen grab at your legs. "The Glorious Dead"

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