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

WW1 Centennial News

Podcast Logo 440WWI Centennial News is a weekly audio podcast, recorded with a live audience at Noon Eastern every Wednesday.
It's about WWI THEN: 100 Years ago this week;
It's about WWI NOW: The Centennial and commemoration
It is fast, entertaining, wide ranging and informative.

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Sync Call for Wednesday July 22 at Noon EDT
3rd Division Doughboys manning a machine gun , Chateau Thierry, 1918
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News and Announcements:

New Commissioner
We regret to inform you that Commissioner Dr. Mary Davidson-Cohen has stepped down from the Commission. Luckily, she has agreed to remain on the Foundation Board. Her service to us has been tremendous and will continue to be as she works with the Foundation. With her stepping down, a space opened up on the Commission board. Yesterday, that space was filled.

The National WWI Museum has appointed Dr. Matt Naylor, CEO, as the newest member of the Commission. Let's all extend a warm welcome to Dr. Naylor!We look forward to working with him and building our already strong relationship with the National WWI Museum.

 

IMLS Blog Post
Libraries and Museums are an important part of the roll of education America on this centennial. No one knows this better than the Connecticut State Library who has not only spent a tremendous amount of time on their own exhibits - but has also put together a grassroots effort to create a CT state committee. Their work on these topics is highlighted on the Institute for Museum and Library Science Website. Check it out!

 

Operation Door Knock
Operation Door Knock is happening right now on Capitol Hill. After the interns provided a packet to every member of the House and the Senate, we set up meetings with over 25 Representatives and Senators that started yesterday and will continue through Thursday. We also held a press conference and media event on the grounds of the Capitol Building to kick off General McCaffrey’s, Commissioner Fountain’s, and Commissioner Moe’s visits to the Hill. We feel the meetings are going promisingly - and we hope this will get us on our way of getting more awareness and support from Congress.

Listen up volunteers - Operation Doorknock is not going to end when these meetings end. We are going to be asking you to meet with your local congressmen and congresswomen while they are summer recess in August. More details will be forthcoming before too long. We need everyone's help if we hope to get our point across.

Also, check out some early press coverage!

 

Design Competition: Phase 1 has Ended!
The deadline for submissions has passed! We have received over 350 submissions-- the jury is scheduled to meet next week and take that 350 or so and reduce it to 5 or less.

Please remember that even if we get the perfect design we can’t build it without donations. We encourage everyone on this call to consider donating. Every dollar counts double thanks to the generosity of our founding sponsor, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, which will match your donation. We will include a link in the minutes. Our Great War men and women deserve a memorial. We can build it.

You can make this memorial a reality by making a donation to the Memorial FundShare this link on social media and on your organization's website--however you can get the word out. We cannot do this without your support. Thank you.

 

July 15 Commission Meeting
Last week, the quarterly meeting of the WW1 Centennial Commission took place at the National WWI Museum in Kansas City. Our Commissioners covered a large swath of activity reports, reviewed reports from ex-officio members, voted on a several requests for support, and worked on several initiatives including strengthening our educational planning. It was great meeting. If you had something up for a vote, please be patient - our staff has been bogged down and will get to you soon enough, we promise.

Thank you to the Museum for hosting us and for letting us get a sneak peak of A Centenary of Australian War that wasn’t scheduled to open for a few more days.

 

Upper Midwest Regional Meeting - Save the Date
September 16th at the Pritzker Military Museum and Library

Upper Midwest Region (in red)The Pritzker Museum and Military Library located in Chicago, Illinois would like to extend an invitation for the volunteer representatives in the Upper Midwest Region -- Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Wisconsin -- to a collaborative meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to increase contact and coordination between these states’ volunteers and to provide updates on the strides each state has made in the planning efforts for the centennial. Additional information will be announced in the near future.

 

 

Read more: Sync-Call Minutes 07-22-15

Sync Call for Wednesday July 15 at Noon EDT
American Collage from the Last German Offensive

News and Announcements:

Update from the States
Virginia
The Virginia WW1CC is keeping busy. On June 22nd, the state’s Committee’s Education, Programs and Commemoration subcommittee met. The subcommittee came away from the meeting with a number of action items to include reaching out to Virginia’s universities and its Department of Education, as well as communicating the information about highway markers and working towards digitizing the list of Virginians killed in the war. The subcommittee will report to the full committee on August 31.

And how YOU CAN HELP:
This Sync Call aims to share more of these State Outreach highlights each week-- Be sure to let us know about what’s going on in your state so we can report it!

A Centenary of Australian War at the National WWI Museum
Our friends at the National WWI Museum in Kansas City will open a new special exhibit this Friday, July 17 called A Centenary of Australian War. The exhibit will feature the most comprehensive collection of Australian war art ever seen outside of Australia. To kick off this exciting new exhibit, the Museum is hosting the Australian Ambassador, Kim Beazley, at a private reception on Thursday. Best of luck to our friends at the Museum, and we encourage anyone in the area to check out the exhibit sometime.

Operation Doorknock
Operation Doorknock is proceeding apace! Our interns have been working fervorously to produce and deliver letters to each member of Congress. So far they’ve hand-delivered over three-hundred letters and will deliver the remainder today. They really have been quite busy! Operation Doorknock will conclude next Tuesday with a press conference and media event on the grounds of the Capitol Building that will also kick off General McCaffrey’s, Commissioner Fountain’s, and Commissioner Moe’s visits to the Hill.

Commission Meeting: Happening Today!
The quarterly meeting of the WW1 Centennial Commission at the National WWI Museum in Kansas City is happening now as I speak! It is scheduled to go from 9am to 1130am Central time and is open to the public. You can listen in to all the excitement by dialing (712) 432-1001 and entering Access Code: 474-845-614#. We encourage you to listen in as the commissioners make decisions about our future.

Design Competition: The End is Nigh!
The deadline for round 1 submissions is NEXT Tuesday, July 21st! Time is running out if you or someone you know wants to submit! A link to the Memorial webpage and competition manual will be in the minutes.

It’s also worth reminding you that even if we get the perfect design we can’t build it without donations. We encourage everyone on this call to consider donating. Every dollar counts double thanks to the generosity of our founding sponsor, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, which will match your donation. We will include a link in the minutes. Our veterans deserve a memorial. We can build it.

Details about the competition, as well as the competition manual can be found hereYou can also help make this restoration a reality by making a donation to the Memorial FundShare this link on social media and on your organization's website--however you can get the word out. We cannot do this without your support. Thank you.

Upper Midwest Regional Meeting - Save the Date
September 16th at the Pritzker Military Museum and Library

The Pritzker Museum and Military Library located in Chicago, Illinois would like to extend an invitation for the volunteer representatives in the Upper Midwest Region -- Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Wisconsin -- to a collaborative meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to increase contact and coordination between these states’ volunteers and to provide updates on the strides each state has made in the planning efforts for the centennial. Additional information will be announced in the near future.Upper Midwest Region (in red)

 

Read more: Sync-Call Minutes 07-15-15

Sync Call for Wednesday July 8 at Noon EDT
US Senate after the July 2, 1915 Bombing
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1. News and Announcements:

Update from the States

Pennsylvania:
June 24 Meeting
Commissioner Hester attended a meeting with the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission and several of our volunteers in Harrisburg, PA on June 24th. They visited the 28th Division Military Museum in Boalsburg, PA and discussed planning events in May 2017 & 2018.

California:
Bay Area WW1 Historical Association Event
The Bay Area WW1 Historical Association will host “We Were Americans Too: The African American Officer and Enlisted Man during the Great War” presented by historian Anthony Powell at its chapter meeting on July 11 at 10am (PDT) at San Jose University. Powell has spent over thirty years studying, teaching, collecting and writing about the American Buffalo Soldier. He has curated exhibitions, lectured at dozens of universities and museums on the subject of Black Military History, and is the author of several books and numerous magazine articles. In addition to his presentation, Mr. Powell plans to display rare museum exhibits featuring uniforms and artifacts from the African-American experience. Admission to this event is free.

Virginia:
The Virginia WW1 Centennial Committee has connected with the Virginia Secretary of Education - we are happy to report on their behalf that the Virginia Department of Education is working to provide resources and instructional materials to divisions, schools, and teachers of the Commonwealth. The Department looks forward to supporting the Virginia WW1 Centennial Committee and coordinating with the Committee throughout the Centennial period on educational materials and opportunities.
Virginia’s next meeting is Monday, August 31st

Georgia:
We were recently put in touch with American Legion Post 115- he saw the Article on Commissioner Whitfield in the American Legion Magazine and contacted the Commission. We were able to put him in touch with our volunteer Virginia Dilkes and with the burgeoning Georgia WW1 Centennial Commission-- he didn’t know one existed! This is just another example of our grassroots efforts hard at work.

And how YOU CAN HELP:
This Sync Call will aim to share more of these State Outreach highlights each week-- Be sure to let us know about what’s going on in your state so we can report it!

 

Saving Hallowed Ground Memorial Oak Tree ProjectThe Monterey California Memorial Oak Tree planted circa 1919
Saving Hallowed Ground, a WW1 Centennial Commission partner, has established a WW1 Centennial Memorial Oak Tree Project to honor the men and women who served our Nation's battle, over here and over there, for freedom during the Great War. Many thousands of oak trees were planted to honor our Nation's fallen during that great conflict and Saving Hallowed Ground would like to carry on that tradition starting with dedication of these living memorials coinciding with the centennial commemoration the end of the war in 2018. For more information on how your community or organization can create their own living memorial please contact Saving Hallowed Ground at savinghallowedground@gmail.com with Memorial Oak Project in the subject line.

Operation Doorknock
Our interns have hand delivered 39 letters to members of the Senate and 82 to the House for a total of 121 letters! Over the next several weeks, they will deliver 70-80 a day over before Gen. McCaffrey’s visit to the hill. Our State Outreach team and Government Relations office is putting together a state-based advocacy kit that will help our volunteers can reach out to district offices while members are home on recess. 

Upper Midwest Regional Meeting - Save the DateUpper Midwest Region (in red)
The Pritzker Museum and Military Library located in Chicago, Illinois would like to extend an invitation for the volunteer representatives in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Wisconsin which comprise the World War I Centennial Commission’s Upper Midwest Region to a collaborative meeting. The meeting will be held on 16 September, 2015. The purpose of this meeting is to provide updates on the strides each state has made in the planning efforts for the centennial. Reach out to Susan Mennenga with questions or comments.

Next Commission Meeting: July 15
We are a week away from the next Commission Meeting - 15 July 2015 at the National WWI Museum in Kansas City. The Commission Meeting is open to the public Anyone that wishes to dial in and listen may do so with this number: 712-432-1001, Access Code: 474-845-614# (Note: Commissioners and Ex Officio Members will have a different dial in number. Meredith will send the number later this week. Stay tuned for that. Thanks). We encourage you to join us or listen to the commissioners make decisions about our future! We also want to the thank the Museum, our great partner, for hosting this event. We can’t wait to visit the memorial in its new designation as a NATIONAL WWI Memorial and Museum.

Design Competition: July 21 Deadline Approaching! 
The deadline for round 1 submissions is Tuesday, July 21st!
Even if we get the perfect design we can’t build it without donations. We encourage everyone on this call to consider donating. Every dollar counts and every dollar is matched by our founding sponsor, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. They deserve a memorial. We can build it.

Details about the competition, as well as the competition manual can be found hereYou can also help make this restoration a reality by making a donation to the Memorial FundShare this link on social media and on your organization's website--however you can get the word out. We cannot do this without your support. Thank you.

American Legion Magazine
For those of you who are American Legion Magazine subscribers, look out for an article in the July issue, featuring our Commissioner, Jim Whitfield. Pages 38 thru 42. You can also read the article here.

Thank you Commissioner Whitfield for your dedication to veterans for over 70 years and for all of your hard work with our State Outreach plan. We are so lucky to have you on the Commission!

In the article - Commissioner Whitfield calls for Legionnaires to get involved - maybe this will be a call to you too....

How can American Legion posts and departments support the commission?

We hope they’ll take up the banner and do something locally. The Legion has its own centennial committee, so hopefully we will supplement each other. Some posts are named for World War I veterans; they could do some kind of history. They could take a survey of World War I monuments and memorials in their city, their county, and refurbish them. In the process, they’re going to get recognition, which then tells the public that World War I was important....

If a state has a World War I centennial commission or committee, I’d hope the department is friendly enough with the state government that it would be a part of that commission or committee. Whatever is happening to mark the war’s centennial in their states and their communities, departments should be a part of it.”

 

Read more: Sync-Call Minutes 07-08-15

Sync Call for Wednesday July 1 at Noon EDT
A ration party for the Royal Irish Rifles, 8th Division, at the Somme circa 1 July 1916
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1. News and Announcements:

Operation Doorknock
We are really turning up our legislative outreach efforts this July- and we’re calling it Operation Doorknock. Our interns have been hand delivering personalized letters and informational packets to every Senate and Congressional office on Capitol Hill. Each letter highlights the contributions and sacrifices of that members’ state during WWI and speaks to why WWI is so important to commemorate. General Barry McCaffrey, special advisor to the WWICC, will meet with key members on the Hill during the week of July 20th on our behalf. Once Operation Doorknock is complete we will ask for volunteers to follow-up on our efforts within their home states during the August recess. Stay tuned for more information on that.

American Legion Magazine
For those of you who are American Legion Magazine subscribers, look out for an article in the July issue, featuring our Commissioner, Jim Whitfield. Pages 38 thru 42. You can also read the article here.

Thank you Commissioner Whitfield for your dedication to veterans for over 70 years and for all of your hard work with our State Outreach plan. We are so lucky to have you on the Commission!

A Centenary of Australian War Art
our friends at the National World War One Museum are opening a new exhibit called A Centenary of Australian Art on July 17. This exhibit will be the most comprehensive collection of Australian war art ever seen outside of Australia. It will consist of 41 artworks from the Australian War Memorial depicting Australian military experience from the First World War to Afghanistan. The exhibition features Australia’s best known war artists, including George Lambert and Arthur Streeton, and the works highlight the crucial role Australians played in some of the most defining moments in modern history.

Centennial Countdown to the Great War
Dennis Cross, one of our fantastic Kansas state outreach volunteers, publishes a monthly blog called Centennial Countdown to the Great War. As the name suggests, this blog covers events that took place a hundred years ago this month. Visit the blog here

Stamp Committee Letter
Thank you David Dorsey and Keith Muchowski for sending in a letter to the US Postal Service Stamp Committee!

Connecticut and the Great War--Call for Papers due July 15
Several Connecticut historical organizations are sponsoring a one-day conference called Connecticut and the Great War on Saturday, November 7th, 2015. The meeting will be held at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT and will feature speakers from diverse backgrounds discussing a wide variety of topics that focus on the any and all aspects of World War I in Connecticut.
Historical society and museum personnel, graduate students, independent scholars, teachers, and members of the academic community are all invited to make presentations. To be considered, you must submit a paper title, abstract, and a short c.v. to the conference organizers. The application deadline is July 15, 2015. Their website can be found here.

Upper Midwest Regional Meeting - Save the DateUpper Midwest Region (in red)
The Pritzker Museum and Military Library located in Chicago, Illinois would like to extend an invitation for the volunteer representatives in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Wisconsin which comprise the World War I Centennial Commission’s Upper Midwest Region to a collaborative meeting. The meeting will be held on 16 September, 2015. The purpose of this meeting is to provide updates on the strides each state has made in the planning efforts for the centennial. Reach out to Susan Mennenga with questions or comments.

Design Competition 
As you know, last week we officially announced the our competition for the design of the National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park! Details about the competition, as well as the competition manual can be found hereYou can also help make this restoration a reality by making a donation to the Memorial Fund.
They deserve a memorial. We can build it for them. Share this link on social media and on your organization's website--however you can get the word out. We cannot do this without your support. Thank you.

Next Commission Meeting
We are just one month away from the next Commission Meeting - 15 July 2015 at the National WWI Museum in Kansas City. The Commission Meeting is open to the public and we will provide a call in number for those who can’t make it to Kansas City. We encourage you to join us or listen to the commissioners make decisions about our future. We want to the thank the Museum and great partner for hosting this event. We can’t wait to visit the memorial in its new designation as a NATIONAL WWI Memorial and Museum.

 

Read more: Sync-Call Minutes 07-01-15

Sync Call for Wednesday June 24 at Noon EDT
Italian Front, 1915
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1. News and Announcements:

Connecticut and the Great War--Call for Papers due July 15
Several Connecticut historical organizations are sponsoring a one-day conference called Connecticut and the Great War on Saturday, November 7th, 2015. The meeting will be held at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT and will feature speakers from diverse backgrounds discussing a wide variety of topics that focus on the any and all aspects of World War I in Connecticut.
Historical society and museum personnel, graduate students, independent scholars, teachers, and members of the academic community are all invited to make presentations. To be considered, you must submit a paper title, abstract, and a short c.v. to the conference organizers. The application deadline is July 15, 2015. Their website can be found here.

Upper Midwest Regional Meeting - Save the DateUpper Midwest Region (in red)
The Pritzker Museum and Military Library located in Chicago, Illinois would like to extend an invitation for the volunteer representatives in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Wisconsin which comprise the World War I Centennial Commission’s Upper Midwest Region to a collaborative meeting. The meeting will be held on 16 September, 2015. The purpose of this meeting is to provide updates on the strides each state has made in the planning efforts for the centennial. Reach out to Susan Mennenga with questions or comments.

Design Competition 
As you know, last week we officially announced the our competition for the design of the National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park! Details about the competition, as well as the competition manual can be found hereYou can also help make this restoration a reality by making a donation to the Memorial Fund.
They deserve a memorial. We can build it for them. Share this link on social media and on your organization's website--however you can get the word out. We cannot do this without your support. Thank you.

Stamp Committee Letter
We completed and mailed our letter to the stamp committee last week. Did you?- let us know so we can brag about you! 

Next Commission Meeting
We are just one month away from the next Commission Meeting - 15 July 2015 at the National WWI Museum in Kansas City. The Commission Meeting is open to the public and we will provide a call in number for those who can’t make it to Kansas City. We encourage you to join us or listen to the commissioners make decisions about our future. We want to the thank the Museum and great partner for hosting this event. We can’t wait to visit the memorial in its new designation as a NATIONAL WWI Memorial and Museum.

Devil Dogs
A Commission endorsed project is getting under way and needs your help. Devil Dogs, the story of the only Honorary Marine in Europe as he helps a family retrace the footsteps of its Marine ancestor who foot during the Battle of Belleau Woods. Head to Devil Dogs’ Kickstarter page to see how you can support them.

Valor Tours 2016Tours with Mike Hanlon
Our own Mike Hanlon is leading tours in France next summer with Valor Tours company. There are two planned trips: one to Verdun in May 2016 and the other to the Somme in August 2016. For more information, check out the flyer we’re sending out to our sync call roster.

We are moving....
Tomorrow the Commission staff will move from 1 Thomas Circle in Washington DC to 1776 G St NW. Our mailing address is and will remain (701 Pennsylvania Ave NW Suite 123). You are all welcome to come visit us anytime, just please note the new location.

Read more: Sync-Call Minutes 06-24-15

Sync Call for Wednesday June 17 at Noon EDT
A section of the Royal Naval Division leaving their trench on the Gallipoli penninsula
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1. News and Announcements:

Connecticut and the Great War--Call for Papers due July 15
Several Connecticut historical organizations are sponsoring a one-day conference called Connecticut and the Great War on Saturday, November 7th, 2015. The meeting will be held at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT and will feature speakers from diverse backgrounds discussing a wide variety of topics that focus on the any and all aspects of World War I in Connecticut.
Historical society and museum personnel, graduate students, independent scholars, teachers, and members of the academic community are all invited to make presentations. To be considered, you must submit a paper title, abstract, and a short c.v. to the conference organizers. The application deadline is July 15, 2015. Their website can be found here.

World War I Symposium in Alabama
Next week, on June 22 the Alabama Department of Archives and History will host Remembering the Great War: A Symposium on World War I. This is a free public symposium featuring noted scholars who will discuss the causes and consequences of the Great War, the experiences of the soldiers and communities who sent them, and the ways in which we have and continue to remember the War's significance. The event will be held on June 22, 2015 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Alabama Department of Archives and History in Montgomery, Alabama. More information here.

Upper Midwest Regional Meeting - Save the Date
The Pritzker Museum and Military Library located in Chicago, Illinois would like to extend an invitation for the volunteer representatives in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Wisconsin which comprise the World War I Centennial Commission’s Upper Midwest Region to a collaborative meeting. The meeting will be held on 16 September, 2015. The purpose of this meeting is to provide updates on the strides each state has made in the planning efforts for the centennial. Additional information will be announced in the near future.

Design Competition 
As you know, last week we officially announced the our competition for the design of the National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park! Details about the competition, as well as the competition manual can be found hereYou can also help make this restoration a reality by making a donation to the Memorial Fund.
They deserve a memorial. We can build it for them. Share this link on social media and on your organization's website--however you can get the word out. We cannot do this without your support. Thank you.

Stamp Committee Letter
We completed and mailed our letter to the stamp committee last week. Did you?- let us know so we can brag about you! 

State Commission Status MapsStates’ Status
We are always asking for volunteers in different states, and we wanted to take some time to explain why we are doing this. Each state has its own level and contribution to the war and we really want to encourage each state to do something for the centennial. Outreach to all 50 states and territories is no small task and we can’t hope to really get the ball rolling without your help.. We are only aware of 5 states that have established commission/committee to commemorate WWI and 10 that are on the verge of creating commissions.... that means 35 states are seeing little movement on this activity, is your state one of them? We need your help, please get involved. We have a team that works on this and is dedicated to supporting our volunteers across the U.S. on this topic. You will be surprised the amount of movement one volunteer can make, a drop of water in a lake can create a wave on shore.

Pershing Park Photospheres
We have some Pershing Park Photospheres on our WW1CC Google+ page. Check them out here!
You can make your own, too! Just Download Google's Camera app to your phone and use the PhotoSphere setting to take 360° pictures of your local WWI monuments and memorials. The app shows you where to point the camera and then stitches the photos together to create the image. Send them in to us and we'll post the best submissions!
Check out this link for a tutorial and this link for more information.

Next Commission Meeting
We are just one month away from the next Commission Meeting - 15 July 2015 at the National WWI Museum in Kansas City. The Commission Meeting is open to the public and we will provide a call in number for those who can’t make it to Kansas City. We encourage you to join us or listen to the commissioners make decisions about our future. We want to the thank the Museum and great partner for hosting this event. We can’t wait to visit the memorial in its new designation as a NATIONAL WWI Memorial and Museum.

 

Read more: Sync-Call Minutes 06-17-15

Sync Call for Wednesday June 10 at Noon EDT
King's African Rifles in East Africa, circa Sept 1917
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1. News and Announcements:

World War I Symposium in Alabama
On June 22 the Alabama Department of Archives and History will host Remembering the Great War: A Symposium on World War I. This is a free public symposium featuring noted scholars who will discuss the causes and consequences of the Great War, the experiences of the soldiers and communities who sent them, and the ways in which we have and continue to remember the War's significance. The event will be held on June 22, 2015 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Alabama Department of Archives and History in Montgomery, Alabama.

Follow us on our Social Media!
As always, we encourage you to follow us on all of our social media platforms: facebook, twitter, google+, youtube, and instagram. Invite your friends, too!

Genealogy Series
Starting next week , our social media team will be publishing a series on genealogy and how to research your WWI ancestors. Stay tuned for that!

Design Competition 
As you know, last week we officially announced the our competition for the design of the National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park! Details about the competition, as well as the competition manual can be found hereYou can also help make this restoration a reality by making a donation to the Memorial Fund.
They deserve a memorial. We can build it for them. Share this link on social media and on your organization's website--however you can get the word out. We cannot do this without your support. Thank you.

 

Read more: Sync-Call Minutes 06-10-15

Sync Call for Wednesday June 03 at Noon EST
US Soldiers Marching

1. News and Announcements:

New Chief Development Officer

The WWICC is pleased to introduce our new Chief Development Officer, Roger Fisk. Roger is from Boston and has worked on the last three presidential campaigns for John Kerry and Barrack Obama. He has served President Obama in a number of capacities since Jan 2007.

Roger Fisk has been involved peripherally with the WWICC for the past 7 to 8 months and is excited to be an official part of it. He thinks it is great to a part of something that reaches back to the past but will have such importance going forward, and he believes it's an honor to be able to work on something such as this that would honor the thousands of Americans who fought and died for their country.

 

Medal of Honor Ceremony Yesterday at the White House

As we mentioned last week, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously to Army Sgt. William Shemin and Private Henry Johnson in a ceremony at the White House. The story has obviously received stories on the CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, and on ABCnews.com

Our partners at the History Channel have also produced an article and video about the Harlem Hellfighters and Henry Johnson’s story of valor and courage. It’s a moving piece and I encourage you to watch.

 

Design Competition Details

As you know, last week we officially announced the our competition for the design of the National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park! Details about the competition, as well as the competition manual can be found here.

You can also help make this restoration a reality by making a donation to the Memorial Fund.

They deserve a memorial. We can build it for them. Share this link on social media and on your organization's website--however you can get the word out. We cannot do this without your support. Thank you.

 

Read more: Sync-Call Minutes 06-03-15

Sync Call for Wednesday May 27 at Noon EST
A General Pershing reenactor at the 2015 Memorial Day Parade in Washington DC.
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1. News and Announcements:

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

  • At the National WWI Museum at Liberty MemorialCommissioner James Whitfield and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver meet at Memorial Day weekend festivities at the National WWI Museum at Liberty Memorial
    • This last weekend the National WWI Memorial and Museum hosted 10 very successful events. This is the first time for these events to be done as the National WWI Memorial and Museum. This included a Memorial Day ceremony coupled with free admission to the museum with visitors to the memorial numbering in the 10,000 plus. Sunday night the KC symphony also played free and open to the public and was finished with a Firework display the WWI Memorial. What an amazing weekend in Kansas City. The WWI Memorial and Museum did a great job making WWI a focal point for Memorial day while honoring all those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom - we look forward to our commemorative partnership with this great proponent for WWI moving forward.
  • Dave Lockard and Commissioner Edwin Fountain ride in a 15-ton WWI vintage Packard truck during the 2015 Memorial Day Parade in Washington DC.In Washington DC
    • On Saturday and Monday at the US Navy Memorial, the Commission had a booth set up during several wreath laying ceremonies. The booth had a lot of foot traffic and received a lot of attention from attendees.
    • On Monday, Commissioner Fountain rode with Dave Lockard on his WWI vintage Packard truck during the DC Memorial Day in front of approximately 200,000 parade watchers.

 

 

Virginia World War One Centennial Commission Website
We are happy to report that the Virginia WWI Centennial Commission website is live! As you know, Virginia is the first state to take advantage of this opportunity, You can find it here!

Much of the work put into making this latest project a reality was led by Dr. Lynn Rainville, a Research Professor in the Humanities at Sweet Briar College and a member of the Virginia WWI Centennial Committee. Dr. Rainville’s background is in history and anthropology. She has been studying WWI for the past year while documenting and writing a book on WWI memorials in Virginia.

She was then asked to be the webmaster for Virginia's centennial efforts. The page for Virginia's centennial commission can now be found on the national site. Dr. Rainville hopes the site can be used as a template for other states who hope to create a website for their centennial commissions. That being said, she encourages other states to be creative with their websites and to commemorate WWI’s centennial period as they see fit.

Design Competition Details

As you know, last week we officially announced the our competition for the design of the National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park! Details about the competition, as well as the competition manual can be found here.

You can also help make this restoration a reality by making a donation to the Memorial Fund.

They deserve a memorial. We can build it for them. Share this link on social media and on your organization's website--however you can get the word out. We cannot do this without your support. Thank you.

The Devil Dogs
The Commission has recently endorsed a film project entitled: The Devil Dogs. The film is about the remembrance of the Battle of Belleau Wood and of the American Marines who came to France in 1918 to fight for freedom at the cost of 7000 lives. This battle remains a founding element in the history of the Marine Corps and is the Battle in which the Germans nicknamed the Marines “Devil Dogs” for their courage and persistence in battle. The films follows the passionate guide Gilles Lagin, as he leads the descendants of the soldiers of the Great War in the tracks of their ancestors. Here is a link to their Facebook page and their website.

  

Read more: Sync-Call Minutes 05-27-15

Sync Call for Wednesday May 20 at Noon EST
Battle of Aubers Ridge. Following a meeting of battalion commanders at 23rd Brigade HQ, Lieutenant Colonel C. B. Vandeleur briefs the 2nd Battalion, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), on their role in the forthcoming attack. At this time the battalion were in billets at Rue de Bois.
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1. News and Announcements:

Pvt. Henry Johnson and Sgt. William Shemin will receive Medal of Honor

Exciting news! Last week the White House announced that WWI soldiers Sgt. William Shemin and Pvt. Henry Johnson will each receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for their actions in the war.Sgt. William Shemin

Sergeant William Shemin will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions while serving as a member of the 47th Infantry Regiment, American Expeditionary Forces. While serving as a rifleman from August 7-9, 1918, Sergeant Shemin left the cover of his platoon's trench and crossed open space, repeatedly exposing himself to heavy machine gun and rifle fire to rescue the wounded. After officers and senior non-commissioned officers had become casualties, Shemin took command of the platoon and displayed great initiative under fire, until he was wounded, August 9.

Pvt. Henry JohnsonPrivate Henry Johnson will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions while serving as a member of the 369th Infantry Regiment, American Expeditionary Forces. Private Johnson entered the Army on June 5, 1917. He was assigned to an all-black National Guard unit that would later become the 369th Infantry Regiment. The Regiment was ordered into battle in 1918, and Private Johnson and his unit were brigaded with a French Army colonial unit in front-line combat. While on night sentry duty on May 15, 1918, Private Johnson and a fellow Soldier received a surprise attack by a German raiding party consisting of at least 12 soldiers. While under intense enemy fire and despite receiving significant wounds, Johnson mounted a brave retaliation resulting in several enemy casualties. When his fellow soldier was badly wounded, Private Johnson prevented him from being taken prisoner by German forces. Private Johnson exposed himself to grave danger by advancing from his position to engage an enemy soldier in hand-to-hand combat. Displaying great courage, Private Johnson held back the enemy force until they retreated.

The award ceremony will take place on June 2.

For more information, visit: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/05/14/president-obama-award-medal-honor

 

Virginia World War I Centennial Commission Website 

We are happy to report that the VA WWI Centennial Commission website is nearing completion. Virginia is the first state to take advantage of the opportunity to house their state website within our national www.worldwar1centennial.org. Their site will go live next week on May 26! You can check them out on the Virginia WWICC Facebook page as well.

 

GI Film Festival 2015

The GI Film Festival is happening now in Fairfax and Washington DC. It will include three WWI movies including Never Forgotten by the ABMC which premieres on Saturday at 3:30pm as well as The Millionaires' Unit and Soldiers' Stories which show on Sunday at 3 and 3:30 respectively. Check out our calendar for details.

 

Design Competition Press Announcement

As we announced last week, tomorrow is the our official unveiling of the design competition for the WWI Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC. It will be at the National Press Club at 2pm. This is open to the public and afterward the memorial design competition portion of our website will go live. This is very exciting to us, we can't wait to see submissions and move this along.

A big thank you to our Dir. of Communications, Chris Isleib, for his work on this. There have been several stories on this already:

Washington Times: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/may/14/wwi-commission-plans-contest-design-long-awaited-m/

NPS Press Release story: http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2015/05/national-park-service-considering-national-world-war-i-memorial-national-mall26636

The AP Wire story is now out on about 50-60 outlets nationally. Here's a small sample:

 

Google Photosphere

A new challenge for our listeners: as you know, we are trying to digitize our efforts in commemorating the centennial. You can help us do it! Just Download Google's Camera app to your phone and use the PhotoSphere setting to take 360° pictures of your local WWI monuments and memorials. The app shows you where to point the camera and then stitches the photos together to create the image. Send them in to us and we'll post the best submissions!

Check out this link for a tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UozBwluWW0M

And this link for more information: https://www.google.com/maps/about/contribute/photosphere/

 

Memorial Day Weekend Events

In Washington, DC:

There will be several ceremonies at the US Navy Memorial in Washington DC:

  • On Saturday at 11am: Rolling Thunder Wreath Laying Ceremony
  • On Monday:
    • 10am EDT: Fleet Reserve Association Wreath Laying Ceremony
    • 1pm EDT: USN Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony with USN Band & Ceremonial Guard
    • 2pm EDT: Veterans Writing Project presentation

Monday: American Veterans' Center National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, DC
Chairman Rob Dalessandro will ride in the WWI Packard Truck with our awesome volunteer, Dave Lockard. Parade will commence at the corner of Constitution Avenue and 7th Streets, NW. It will proceed west down Constitution, past the White House, ending at 17th Street. Participants will pass by the nation's monuments, museums, and hundreds of thousands of spectators waving their flags and cheering for our country's heroes – the men and women who wear the uniform of our armed forces.

In Los Angeles:

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum will open its gates for veterans as a tribute to their service to our country. The Coliseum was commissioned in 1921 as a memorial to Los Angeles County veterans of The Great War and was rededicated on Nov. 11, 1968, in ceremonies commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the 1918 Armistice, to all who served in the United States Armed Forces during World War 1. The plaque commemorating this occasion is inscribed with the words "Lest We Forget...May the Torch of Freedom Always Burn Bright." Self-Guided Tours will be offered from 10am-4pm while Guided Tours will be offered at10:30am and 1:30pm. Head of Los Angeles Outreach for the United States World War One Centennial Commission, Courtland Jindra, will be speaking at the beginning of the Guided Tours regarding the history of WWI and the Coliseum.

In Richmond:

The Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities will present a program in honor of our nation's veterans on Monday, May 25, at 4:00 p.m. at the World War I Memorial Carillon in Byrd Park. Featured will be a concert on the Carillon bells by longtime city carillonneur Larry Robinson, and a vocal concert by renowned barbershop group The Virginians. Please call (804)646-3680 for more information.

At the National WWI Museum at Liberty Memorial

The National World War I Museum in Kansas City, MO is hosting 10 events this Memorial Day weekend. Check them out on their website! https://theworldwar.org/memorialday2015

 

Read more: Sync-Call Minutes 05-20-15

Sync Call for Wednesday May 13 at Noon EST
Prince Leopold of Bavaria, the Commander of the German Ninth Army, riding through streets of Warsaw after the victory parade to celebrate the capture of the Polish capital from the Russian Army.
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1. News and Announcements:

Recap of Lusitania eventsDiplomats, dignitaries and Commissioners at the NYC Lusitania Wreath Laying Ceremony
Our NYC Lusitania wreath-laying ceremony was a success! Diplomats, dignitaries, and descendants joined us to pay their respects to the victims of the tragic sinking. We have a short video of the event available on the WWICC Homepage. Our panel on the Lusitania in Washington DC went just as well as its NYC counterpart, receiving coverage on CSPAN.
A big thank you to everyone who made either event possible!

Recap of the Embassy Events for EU day
Our participation in the EU Embassy Open Houses went well. We had over 10,000 visitors at UK Embassy and 3,200 at Belgium Embassy, meaning we exposed 13,200+ people to the WWICC and our mission over 6 hours! As a result, we've gained a multitude of new social media followers and two pages of volunteer candidates. A special thanks goes out to the volunteers who helped that effort.

All Government Briefing
Next Thursday, May 21, we will hold an all government briefing at the US Navy Memorial. Here we will brief our Ex Officio Members, Advisors and partner agencies on our mission, timeline and significant events.

Design Competition Press Announcement
This is the announcement many of you have been waiting for... We will announce the design competition for the WWI Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC on Thursday May 21, 2015 at the National Press Club at 2pm. The announcement is open to the public and afterward that portion of our website will go live. This is very exciting to us, we can't wait to see submissions and move this along.

National WWI Museum Memorial Day Weekend Events
The National World War I Museum in Kansas City, MO is hosting 10 events over the course of the Memorial Day weekend. As the commemoration of the Centennial of World War I (2014-19) continues, the Museum serves as a fitting place to honor and recognize the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving their country during Memorial Day Weekend.
For more information:https://theworldwar.org/memorialday2015

We Need Volunteers!
See the listings below!

Read more: Sync-Call Minutes 05-13-15

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