Iowa State Gold Star Ceremony honors three former students


Kennedy DeRaedt/Iowa State Daily

The ROTC color guard presents the Colors at the Gold Star Hall Ceremony. The Gold Star Hall Ceremony was held on Nov. 12 in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union. This year’s ceremony honored three fallen WWII service members, and celebrated the one hundred year anniversary of the end of WWI and the ninety year anniversary of the Memorial Union.

Josue Aceves

Three fallen Iowa State students were honored at the Gold Star ceremony held in the Great Hall at the Memorial Union on Tuesday afternoon.

The students honored included Robert Abram Berwick, William Conrad Ostlund and Don T. Griswald, Jr. Family members of the fallen students were at the event to show their support. 

The event started with the Joint ROTC color guard who performed the presentation of colors. ROTC Cadet Colin Long sang the national anthem right after. 

“The ceremony is a time of reflection and reverence for the service and sacrifice made by our fellow Iowa Staters,” Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen said in a taped remark that was played at the event.  

Lt. Col. Jeremy Paul, professor of military science and tactics for Iowa State University, and Robert Gipe, a student veteran and graduate student in information systems and business analytics, gave speeches to honor the fallen veterans and to speak on their experience in the army. 

Each of the three honorary students’ stories were narrated by three retired veterans. 

Lt. Col. Daniel P. Divine, retired USMC, began by narrating the story of Berwick. Berwick’s hometown was Knoxville and was enrolled at Iowa State from 1940 to 1943. Berwick enlisted in the Navy and was assigned to join the island hopping campaign against Japan after six months after graduating Naval school. He died on April 12, 1945 on a ship near Okinawa, Japan. 

Cmdr. Daniel A. Buhr, retired USN, spoke on Ostlund’s story. Ostlund was from Webster City and attended Iowa State from 1936 to 1937. Ostlund enlisted in the naval reserve after the Pearl Harbor bombings. Ostlund was on a submarine that was presumed lost after it had vanished somewhere near Iwo Jima on April 18, 1944. 

Capt. Paul Fuliguni, retired CEC and USN, spoke on Griswold’s story. Griswold was from Clarinda and was an Iowa State student from 1936 to 1940. Griswold joined the civilian pilot training program in Ames and enlisted in the naval reserve and was eventually assigned to the USS hornet. Griswold’s jet would later be struck down by the Japanese and crashed somewhere in the south pacific on June 6, 1942. 

A moment of silence was held and the final reading of names before the color guard performed the retrieval of colors. 

“It’s a large collaboration between the ROTC department, the Memorial Union and the veteran center on campus in order to make sure that the stories of all of these individuals don’t fall on silent ears,” said Brad Hill, associate director of the Memorial Union and chairman of the Gold Star Hall committee said in regards to setting up the event. 

 Hill, further emphasized the importance of the event.

“They are always out there and there is a reason they are being honored at Gold Star,” Brad said.