Viewpoint: A serene and fitting memorial

By Rob Bradfield

I was walking down Fountain Mall last evening when I noticed a little-used area of campus.

It sits just off the main walkway with not much more than a small sign marking its location. I walked into the space — enclosed by cypress trees and rosemary bushes — and stood near a monolithic headstone, unnoticed by people passing by on the mall.

This was, of course, the National Panhellenic Garden — Baylor’s monument to those that perished in the Panhellenic wars.

These wars, fought primarily on the Greek Peloponnesus, were drawn out and horrendously bloody. They also provided the backdrop for some of ancient Greece’s — and western civilization’s — greatest works of art, drama and literature.

That the monument faces the classics department in Morrison is only fitting.

This war was the crucible in which our western ideas of ethics and democracy were founded, as well as some of the more storied elements of our culture.

As I walked by the stones I was filled with pride knowing that Baylor had lovingly taken the time to research the actual divisions of soldiers which had taken place in the battles.

Chi Omega, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Alpha Tau Omega — the meanings of these and many other names have been lost to our history and it is nothing short of a feat of research that Baylor scholars were able to dig these out of obscure ancient texts.

I’m not as studied in Hellenic history as I should like, so it was a surprise from me that Fijian troops and the Baylor Chamber participated. I had no idea that Fiji and ancient Greece had trade and political connections, and I was woefully ignorant of the apparently storied past of this university.

Being memorialized in this dignified place and manor is fitting for those whose ghosts still haunt this hallowed place.

Much better than some old plaque on a pole.

Rob Bradfield is a Waco senior and the Lariat’s Editor-In-Chief.