African American Officers pilots in dress uniforms African American Soldiers 1 doughboys with mules gas masks Mule Rearing The pilots Riveters

Dispatch Newletter

The WWI Centennial Dispatch is a weekly newsletter that touches the highlights of WWI centennial and the Commission's activities. It is a short and easy way to keep tabs on key happenings. We invite you to subscribe to future issues and to explore the archive of previous issues.

World War I Memorial Highway Dedicated

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December 7, 2015


World War I Memorial Highway Dedicated

Bend, Oregon - Highway 395 in Oregon has officially been renamed the “World War I Veterans Memorial Highway.” A dedication ceremony was held Nov. 9. Two signs, built by the Oregon Department of Transportation, are currently being installed; eight more signs will be installed along the highway, once the Bend Heroes Foundation receives the $900 in donations needed for each sign. Donations are tax deductible. For more information, visit the Bend Heroes Foundation website.


No More Blank States!

Washington, DC - As we near the end of the year every US State has some level of engagement with the Commission. Volunteer Virginia Dilkes has helped us establish contacts with the WWI Committee already in operation in Maine. Virginia also connected with Director of Veterans Affairs for the state of Iowa, who will lead WWI Commemorative activities for the state. A reminder that there is a complete toolkit available to state organizations.




National World War I Memorial At Pershing Park

Washington, DC - The five design concept finalists gather in Washington this week to submit their polished designs. These will go on public display both on the website and at the DC Council Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue. The Commission will vote on a final design on January 25th. Please remember we can’t build a memorial without donations. Every dollar you donate will be matched by our founding sponsor, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. The World War I veterans deserve their own memorial; we can build it.



'Tis The Season - Hot Chocolate anyone?
Commemoration Mug

Great for you, great as a gift.. Enjoy this 15-ounce ceramic mug and honor the centennial of World War I.
Purchase this Commemoration mug or other great items in the Official WWI Commemoration Shop.


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WWI Memorial Design Competition

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December 14, 2015

National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park gets a Step Closer to Reality
Washington, DC - Designers in phase II of the Memorial Design Competition submitted their polished design concepts on Friday, Dec. 9th. They spent great deal of time and effort refining these designs. The Commission has five diverse concepts and the jury will have a challenging decision ahead of it.
If you are in Washington, these works will be shown in the atrium of the John A. Wilson Building, at the Council of the District of Columbia, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, weekdays, from 9:00am to 5:30pm, from December 14-22, 2015.
Please remember that even with these fantastic design concepts, we can’t build a memorial without donations. Every dollar donated will be matched by our founding sponsor, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. You can help make this memorial a reality with a donation to the Memorial Fund. They’ve Earned Their Own Memorial. We can Build it!

See the new Stage II design developments online and let us know your thoughts: Public comment is now open.

Learn more about the design competition...
If you'd like a quick overview of the entire competition process, take a look at this informational poster.


Army 14, Navy 0 - One Hundred Years Ago
College ball 1915Washington, DC - Mike Williams, one of our fall social media interns, wrote a thoughtful piece for our website about the history of the Army-Navy game and rivalry. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

When Army met Navy on the gridiron this weekend, the two teams were participating in one of the longest and most prestigious rivalries in American sports. The teams will faced off before an American public worried about events in Europe; worried about committing forces into a long and costly war; worried about subversive agents, both domestic and international. The atmosphere in which Saturday’s game was played echoed that of another Army-Navy Game, played exactly one hundred years agoRead more.


 


Keep Warm This Season Wth a Commemorative Fleece Vest
Fleece VestAvailable in the official merchandise shop, keep warm with this Made in the USA full zip fleece vest. It features the "Doughboy" logo.

Doughboy is an informal term for a member of the U.S. Army or Marine Corps, and refers to the American Expeditionary Forces in World War One, largely comprised of young men who had dropped out of school to join the army. This poignant lone silhouette of a soldier in trench warfare serves as a reminder of those who sacrificed so much one century ago.
Pershing Park Today
Play Project Overview Video
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WWI NYC Committee Grows

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December 21, 2015


New York City Committee Adds Key Members
New York, NY - Real Estate Executive Elihu Rose and Broadcaster and Educator William F. Baker have joined the World War I Centennial Committee for New York City. Commissioner Libby O'Connell is getting the NYC organization stood up.

Ahoy!


(Click the image to open full size in browser)

USS Olympia at Independence Seaport Museum

Last week the Commission’s Executive Director Dan Dayton met with Mike Flynn of the Independence Seaport Museum, which is home to USS Olympia. Launched in 1892, the cruiser Olympia (C-6) is the oldest steel warship afloat in the world. She fought in the Spanish American War in 1898. During WWI, the Olympia served with anti-submarine escort convoys protecting shipping in the Atlantic from German U-boat attacks. Later, she was sent to Murmansk to engage the Bolsheviks in the newly formed USSR.

Following WWI, because Olympia was the most significant commissioned US warship capable of making the journey, she was selected for the honor of bringing the Unknown Soldier home for interment in the United States. "We are happy to form a relationship with the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia," Dayton said, "and we will work together with the Museum and the Pennsylvania WWI Centennial Committee to help tell the story of Olympia."


WW1USA, Defense News, and C-SPAN on WWI
Kansas City, MO and Washington, DC - Amateur or 'Ham' Radio operators are bringing worldwide awareness of the centennial though their work at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City. The station is manned by volunteers in the KCMO area. Spread the word on WW1USA, contact Herb Fiddick and read all about it here. In Washington, Vice Chair Edwin Fountain appeared recently on Defense News and summed up why and what we're doing on this show that is widely watched by those in the Defense Industry. And watch for a C-SPAN interview about the Memorial with Vice Chair Fountain on January 3rd at 6:30 EST on C-SPAN 3.



See Ya After the First
Washington, DC -- DISPATCH will not publish next week. We'll be back on the 4th. January is an important time for the Commission. It will announce the final design concept for the National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park, hold the first meeting of the Diplomatic Advisory Board, and pay tribute to Commissioner Monique Seefried who will be presented with the Legion of Honor by France.

From all of us -- have a safe and joyous Holiday season.


Limited Edition Doughboy Statue from the Official Merchandise Shop - $175
Inspired by the WWI U.S. Army infantryman, this 12” cold cast bronze collector statue is a tribute to those who fought in The Great War available in the Official Merchandise Shop
Doughboy StatueImagine a scene somewhere in France. The U.S. infantryman wears standard issue M1917 khaki drab tunic and breeches, is equipped with M1917 cartridge belt, M1910 canteen, haversack and pack carrier, and the U.S. Springfield M1903 30 .06 caliber rifle. A Colt .45 pistol serves as his sidearm and his helmet and gasmask may be British or U.S. made. All other equipment is U.S. issue, right down to the hobnails on his M1917 “Pershing” trench boots.
These finely sculpted limited edition statues are cast and finished one at a time - no two are truly alike. Extensive research and fine sculpting ensures that the over 200 hours of sculpting time, often spanning over two years, result in a statue that is historically and physically accurate as possible. Each limited edition statue is stamped with individual serial numbers and comes packaged in a high quality color presentation box.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this item will help fund the national WWI Memorial to be built in Pershing Park in Washington, D.C., commemorating the valor and sacrifices of all U.S. WWI soldiers.
A Certificate of Authenticity as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial is included.



British and German descendants of Great War veterans, in period uniforms, shake hands at the unveiling of a memorial to the Chrismas Truce. From Wikipedia
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January 11, 2016

State of Georgia WWI Centennial On Line
Atlanta, GA - Georgia played a significant role during America's participation in World War I (1917-18).

The state was home to more training camps than any other state and, by the war's end, it had contributed more than 100,000 men and women to the war effort.

Governor Nathan Deal signed the law that created their Georgia WWI centennial commission last summer, and now they have stood up their commission’s website, hosted on www.WorldWar1Centennial.org/Georgia

Because it is hosted on the National Site, the postings of their web site will be archived as a part of national record of the centennial as gathered by U.S. Government Printing Office on a regular basis.


Must See TV

Washington, DC - The Commission's video library is a good resource to check recent video pieces relevant to the Commemoration. There are three new videos published in the Commission video library this week:

1. C-SPAN | American History TV - Edwin Fountain interview on the 5 finalist designs (a really good walk through the competition and the five finalists)

2. Library of Congress Veteran's History Project - Actor Gary Sinise takes a tour and learns about the Veteran’s History Project (great for those interested in access or participation)

3. The Lusitania disaster: A "maritime grassy knoll” - Courtesy of CBS News - A January 3 story about the mysteries surrounding this tragic event with Martha Teichner.

See them all here.


Perfect Duo: WWI Centennial Commemorative Coin and Acrylic Coin Stand
Commemorative coinThe exclusive commemoration coin continues the rich heritage of challenge coins found throughout military history. In fact, the act of presenting coins for valor can be traced all the way to the early days in Ancient Rome.
Here, each 1-3/4” die struck nickel-silver finish coin has a hand - decorated enamel color inlay to enhance the commemorative design.Acrylic Stand
To proudly display this commemorative coin, we also offer a matching acrylic coin Stand.
Pick up both at the US Centennial Official Merchandise shop where you can explore over 20 other commemorative purchase options.


 


Congratulations to the Georgia team on their new Centennial Web Site.
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January 18, 2016


Before "I Had A Dream" There Was The African-American Soldier in WW1"

Washington, DC - As we commemorate the life and remember the teaching of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today, we note that the entire African-American experience in World War I will receive special attention during the Commemoration. For example, the Commission has endorsed a project called TimeMap. TimeMap is a crowd-sourced app for African-American WWI Cultural sites which will integrate immersive Virtual (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) with crowdsourcing functions that engage the public in creating cultural memory narratives of physical sites. The initial focus of the prototype will be on two cultural memorials of the African American experience in WWI, and a full release of 24 sites during the U.S. WWI Centennial. This platform will: give global users easy virtual access to sites via 360 degree still and video immersive experiences – in 2D using mobile devices, or 3D with a binocular headset (Google Cardboard, etc.); provide historical tourists with navigation to physical sites augmented with images, film, audio and documents; and enable users to upload personal stories – images, video, captions, oral histories, letters, etc. – and post to a cultural memory "Wall" at each site. Watch for it!
French Bestow Award on Commissioner
Washington, DC - Commissioner Monique Seefried, (here with Commission Chair Rob Dalessandro) was decorated as a Chevalier of France's Legion d'Honneur by France's Ambassador to the United States, Gérard Araud, at the embassy residence on January 13th. The award, bestowed by the President of the French Republic, François Hollande, upon recommendation of the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, was awarded to her for her long career in education and her work on commemorating the sacrifices of American soldiers in France during World War I.

The Legion d'Honneur is France's highest order of distinction.

Commissioner Seefried, a U.S. citizen born in Tunisia, has served with the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission since 2014, and beyond her work with education and state programs, she is the lead for international partnerships. She was responsible for the recently signed bi-lateral agreement between the United States Commission and the French Mission du Centenaire.


A New Look for 2016!

Washington, DC - Have a look at the new navigation features on our website. Same robust content in a brand new package. See it here!


Bad Chow - Good humor
Metal SignHere is another in the Metal Sign series. This 8” x 12” embossed sign depicts historical images of the cooks and soldiers, not always in agreement, during World War One. See the whole series in the Official Merchandise Shop

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