Stadium now a memorial to all fallen Californians

When California Memorial Stadium first opened in 1923, its higher purpose — besides football, that is — was spelled out by an inscription in the north tunnel: “In memory of Californians who gave their lives in the World War 1914-1918.”

At a halftime ceremony held on the 50-yard line during Saturday’s Homecoming game against UCLA, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and Athletic Director Sandy Barbour were joined by representatives of the U.S. armed forces in rededicating the newly renovated arena to the fallen of subsequent wars as well. A new plaque, added to the north tunnel, reads, “In memory of all Californians who have sacrificed their lives in service to our nation.”

Taking part in the ceremony were representatives of the Air Force, the Navy and the Marine Corps. Many Bear fans in attendance may have recognized Lt. Garrett Cross, who recently returned from a deployment in Afghanistan. Cross, a former Cal tight end, wore the uniform of the U.S. Marines on Saturday night.