Commission meets with Congress to increase visibility of commemoration

A delegation from the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission visited Capitol Hall July 21-23, meeting with Representatives and Senators to increase Congressional visibility and support of the  Commission's efforts to commemorate and educate the U.S. public about the service and sacrifices of Americans during WWI.

The delegation was led by the Chair of the Commission, Colonel Robert J. Dalessandro, USA (Ret.) and Commissioner Tom Moe, and includes the Commission's senior advisor for development, General Barry McCaffrey, USA (Ret.). The visit to the Hill kicked off with a brief media event on Tuesday, July 21, taking place on the east side grassy area outside the U.S. Senate at 10 a.m. EDT. The event featured remarks by General McCaffrey, Representative Ted Poe, R-Texas, and Dalessandro.

The delegation visited the offices of 34 different Representatives and Senators for meetings. Among those lawmakers hosting with the Commission team were: Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio); Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee; Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada), Senate Minority Leader; and Representative Hal Rogers, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

McCaffery Boehner Moe with captionThe U.S World War One Centennial Commission was created by Congress via the World War One Centennial Commission Act, signed into law on January 16, 2013.

World War One was a terrible global conflict that was fought between July 28, 1914, and November 11, 1918. Some fifty countries were involved in fighting that spanned across Europe, Asia, and Africa, and on the seas around the world. The United States entered the war on April 6, 1917. During 18-months of American involvement, over four million Americans served in the military, and two million of them deployed overseas. 116,516 American service members died during the war, and 204,000 more were wounded. The United States played a significant role in the peace afterward, helping to shape the Treaty of Versailles.

The war, and its aftermath, made enormous impact on the world - it dramatically shifted national borders, it brought new technology to industry and transportation, it changed attitudes toward women in the workplace, and it created new movements in the arts. The war’s effects are still with us, today, one hundred years later.

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the Commission's
prime missions

Contributions of any size will assist the United States World War One Centennial Commission in carrying out its prime missions of educating about, honoring, and commemorating those Americans who served and gave their lives in the military services during the First World War, as well as those who served in other vital capacities as the nation armed, equipped, trained, transported, and supported America's fighting forces during the conflict. Click the "Donate" button below to make a donation to the U.S. Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars, the Commission's official fundraising organization. Donate now and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library will match your gift.

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Monuments and memorials
to be registered, revitalized

WASHINGTON, DC -- Across the nation, thousands of monuments and memorials to America's World War One efforts stand in city squares, cemeteries, parks, and public buildings.
The World War One Centennial Commission will partner with Saving Hallowed Ground, the American Battle Monuments Commission, the World War One Memorial Inventory Project, and other organizations to identify and record all these monuments.

The Commission will encourage local communities and organizations to perform conservation and preservation services to the monuments themselves, and engage school students, Scouts, and communities in researching and learning about the history of their monuments and about the stories behind the names inscribed on these Living History Memorials, to remind citizens of their meaning and the great deeds they memorialize.

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National World War One Memorial Design Competition

Over 350 Stage I design entries received

The deadline for entries for Stage I of the Design Competition for the National World War One Memorial in Washington DC passed on Tuesday July 21, at 3:00 p.m. EDT, with over 350 entries submitted.

Pershing Park overhead with caption2The selected memorial site is Pershing Park, located on Pennsylvania Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets NW.

"Special thank you to those who submitted designs for our WW1 Memorial Design Competition!" said Chris Isleib, Director of Public Affairs for the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission. "The support for this open competition has been overwhelming, with over 350 projects sent in.

"The next step will be Jury Review. Our jury is scheduled to meet next week and identify a handful of Finalists, who will be invited to develop their designs further, with more detail. These finalists will compete in the second stage, and the winner will be selected from one of those designs."

The public is invited to view all of the submissions that conformed with the Competition Manual, and provide private comments to the Competition Officials.  Go to the Memorial Design Competition page for more information on how to view the submissions.

The competition is a two-stage design competition, and is an open, international competition -- open to any professionals, university-level students, or any other interested participants. In the first stage, participants submitted narrative and graphic descriptions of a design concept responding to the competition’s design goals. Three to five submissions from Stage I will be selected by the competition jury as finalists, and those entries will be further refined and developed in Stage II.

Pershing2The jury for both stages of the competition is composed of individuals representing the worlds of government, the military, the arts, and the citizens of Washington DC. The Commission selected the jurors and will have final decision on the selected design, based on the recommendation of the jury. For information on the Memorial and the competition, including the Competition Manual, and questions and answers from participants, visit the Memorial Design Competition page.

The Memorial will be built using funds raised from the American public. "Please remember that even if we get the perfect design we can’t build the memorial without support," Isleib said. "We invite you to help us in our goal, to create the new WW1 Memorial using only private donations. The veterans of WW1 earned their own memorial, and we can build it for them." For information on fundraising for the Memorial, or to make a donation, visit the Memorial Fundraising page.

Celebrating the 4th of July during World War I

The Stars and Stripes flew from Victoria tower 

US Troops in Perth Scotland 1918 cutlineBy Stuart Irwin

The Fourth of July holiday is an occasion for the United States of America to celebrate and commemorate the birth of the nation. It is interesting to recall how this holiday was celebrated during the years America participated in World War One. The entry of the United States into the war provided a massive boost to the Allied powers and marked a significant moment in the conflict.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, the July 4 holiday excited much interest among the Allied powers. In 1917, The Times newspaper, in London, claimed that ‘[t]here have been many memorable Fourths of July in the past one hundred and forty-one years, but never one so pregnant with the drama of great events as this’. For example, by the order of the King, the stars and stripes flew from Victoria tower.

The celebrations in France were even more extravagant. The New York Times reported on July 4, 1918 that ‘Paris turned out today as almost never in its history to celebrate the Fourth of July. The French capital not only extended a royal welcome to the Americans here, but made a thorough holiday of the day on its own account.’ The events included American troops marching through the city, where they were welcomed by ‘[c]rowds of people that jammed every available inch of space and every window in the buildings along the line of march, on roofs, and even in trees, cheered themselves hoarse’.

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Commission project will feature African American experience in Great War

369th experience snipWASHINGTON, December 21, 2014 – The World War One Centennial Commission announces that it has undertaken a memorandum of understanding with S&D Consulting Services to produce The 369th Experience, a series of public performances and education programs depicting the American, African American, and French experience in World War I through the eyes of the 369th U.S. Infantry Regiment, also known as the "Harlem Hellfighters."

The production is an official project of the Commission in line with its charge to educate the people of the United States about the history of World War One, the United States' involvement in that war, and the war's effects on the remainder of the 20th century, and to commemorate and honor the participation of the United States and its citizens in the war.

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