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Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, speaks at the dedication of Lopez Hall at The Basic School aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico on June 27, 2013. The new dining facility was dedicated in honor of 1st Lt. Baldomero Lopez who was killed at Inchon, South Korea on September 15, 1950.

Photo by Pfc. Samuel Ellis

New dining facility dedicated at The Basic School

27 Jun 2013 | Pfc. Samuel Ellis

Patriotic music wafted from the Quantico Marine Corps Band. The Basic School was bustling with activity as its newest servant sat, ready to begin its post on June 27, 2013.

As various officers recognized the accomplishments of the late 1st Lt. Baldomero Lopez, a new dining facility, named in his honor, was dedicated at TBS aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico.

“This is holy ground,” said Amos. “Lieutenants will walk by plaques, read the inscriptions and hope to be like Lt. Lopez.”

In September 1950, after scaling a South Korean seawall at Inchon, Lopez was hit by gunfire while attempting to throw a grenade. He dropped the grenade and fell to the ground. Due to his injuries, Lopez couldn’t grasp the grenade to throw it again. Instead, Lopez chose to absorb the blast himself, protecting his men.

“What caused him to lead those Marines,” asked Amos. “It began in his character and growing up at his house, but I would suspect he got those things that caused him to be such a great leader right here at The Basic School.”

The school that trains Marine officers to lead in combat situations welcomed its modern addition, filled with artifacts honoring Lopez’s memory and replacing a building that has served meals since 1958.

“We transfer the traditions found at O’Bannon Hall to this hall,” said Col. Todd Desgrosseilliers, commanding officer of The Basic School. “Lopez Hall is adorned with items of personal and historical significance to Lt. Lopez.”

Naming buildings after Marines is not a light task, according to Amos, but dedicating buildings to Marines like the Medal of Honor recipient, Baldomero Lopez, is an honor.

“Why do we hang on to the stories [of past Marines] and keep them fresh in our minds,” wrote Ray Walker, former Marine who served with Lopez, in a letter. “Keeping stories alive will set the standard for new officers.”

Correspondent: samuel.l.ellis@usmc.mil


Marine Corps Base Quantico