Cornell's first graduating class included Civil War veterans from both the Union and the Confederacy. Nearly a half century later, all but one of the Cornellians who died in World War I served on the same side, with the armies of the United States, Great Britain, and France. While the passage above honors their memory, the list of casualties etched into the walls of the cloisters omitted Hans Wagner '12, a German who died for his homeland.
Entrances at either end of the passage lead to the Baker Tower residence halls. The nearby flagpole serves as a central meeting place, while the passageway becomes a musical venue for campus a capella groups staging free "arch sings" to promote upcoming concerts. Chalkings on the sidewalks announce meetings and events.