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Nothing is finally settled respecting the memorial Harvard University will erect in honor of the Harvard men who gave their lives to their country in the world war. But the statement now authorized for publication and the plans now submitted for discussion intimate that a final decision is relatively near at hand. The committee has done its work without hurry and with careful consideration of all the questions which must be answered in the decision now to be made.
If any structure in constant use can escape the objection to a memorial that is also a utility, that structure is a church. Harvard needs a new college church and this plan for a war memorial will satisfy that need. But a church invites to reverence and the contemplation of spiritual things; gratitude is an essential element in devotion; the treatment of the memorial chapel, which will form a part of the building, will be impressive and inspiring. This is an utterly different thing from such a utility as a memorial bridge, for instance, over which the multitudes scurry with no time for nor interest in any tablets or sculptures which it may carry.
The place for the Harvard Memorial is in the college yard. The location has not been definitely decided upon, but we should suppose there would be but little dissent from the selection of site indicated by the plan submitted by the committee. It should be in the yard amidst the surroundings that are most typical of Harvard, where Harvard memories most numerously throng, and where Harvard men are reminded at almost every step of Harvard history and Harvard traditions. Examination of the drawings Indicate that the church as planned will improve greatly the general balance and harmony of the yard, facing across a wide open space the imposing Widener Library, with college buildings, old and new, grouped about as artistically as is possible in a collection that was not planned as a whole at any one time.
Architecturally, the proposed memorial church conforms well to the traditional style of Harvard and as a unit the structure is handsome. It has a Harvard air, a colonial look; it has both dignity and beauty; it is of New England. The first reaction toward the proposed memorial is favorable and we fancy that it will have the approval of the great majority of Harvard men. The Boston Herald May 28, 1926.
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