The Panel of the Panel – Mr. Wanders ’43 and his Eagle

The year 1943 brought devastation, depression, and darkness to Europe as World War Two raged throughout the continent, gnawing at the spirit of American troops and families as it progressed. At the beginning of the year, British and American forces had agreed that they could conclude the war only with a total surrender from Germany, an objective they knew would be costly to achieve for all sides. As a young school with a mere twenty years under its belt focused on the development of their community, Belmont Hill endured each and every punch the war had thrown at the school and its families. In Spring of 1943, Mr. Hans W. Wanders graduated from Belmont Hill, having left behind his own panel of an American eagle swooping down carrying a bomb, now displayed in the MacPherson room. As many have before me, I found myself enthralled with this image of sheer patriotism, important in a time where the country and the community needed it most, important now as a memento of our history as a school. Depicting not only the role of the United States and the harsh reality overseas, Mr. Wanders’ carving reminds current day students that there is a world beyond the school, a world that may not always be so kind and forgiving to its members as Belmont Hill is to the school’s extended family.

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