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VA Hospital Dedicated In Solemn Rites

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Ann Arbor, Michigan, Monday, October 19,1953

VA Hospital Dedicated In Solemn Rites

2,500 Tour Facility Following Formal Opening Ceremonies

In a 30-minute ceremony characterized by deep religious solemnity, the new $7,000,000 Veterans Administration Hospital was dedicated yesterday.

“Dedicated,” said Vice - Adm. Joel T. Boone, “to a responsibility that touches the inner recesses of my soul.

"Those who look askance at this VA institution lack a knowledge of the traditional policy and history of this country,” the chief VA medical director said. "Now, as always, this nation nurtures the objective to fulfill its tremendous obligation to its veterans."

Veterans Are ‘Special’

Said Harvey V. Higley, administrator of veterans affairs, in the dedication address, “I’m proud to live in a country where the veteran is considered a special citizen.

“It is not by accident this building is dedicated on Sunday,” Higley said. “For what we need most now is God's help. The rest -- doctors, nurses, technicians, equipment and buildings—are here.”

Several hundred persons watched the ceremonial rites, participated in by the Rev. Erland J. Wangdahl, Rabbi Julius Weinberg and Fr. John B. Zwers. Some 2,500 persons toured the 488-bed hospital, located at Glacier Way and Fuller Rd., during the afternoon.

Attorney Roscoe O. Bonisteel acted as master of ceremonies.

Guests Listed

Guests included Sen. Homer Ferguson; Dr. A. C. Furstenberg, dean of the U-M Medical School; George W. Sallade, president of the City Council; Thurlow Sanford, chairman of the Board of Supervisors and Dr. Harlan H. Hatcher, U-M president.

At 2 p.m. Higley handed a large plaque to the new director, Dr. Morley B. Beckett, delivering the management of the hospital into his hands.

A few minutes later, the strains of the National Anthem were heard and, with an American Legion color guard, Old Glory was raised above the building and the new hospital was formally open.

In a 30- minute ceremony on a sunny Sunday afternoon, the new VA Hospital was formally dedicated. Above,Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veteran Affairs, delivers into the hands of Dr. Morley B. Beckett the director, both the hospital plaque and the management of the Institution.