Pow-wow honors Wisconsin WWI Native American veterans
By Capt. Brian Faltinson, USA
Wisconsin National Guard
Lt. Col. David Sands, former executive officer of the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, carries the Descendants of Red Arrow flag at the retiring of the colors dance at the 40th Annual Descendants of Red Arrow Veterans Day Pow-Wow. The Descendants of Red Arrow celebrated their 40th Veterans Day Pow-Wow Nov. 11 at Volk Field in honor of 28 Native Americans who served in the Wisconsin National Guard’s Company D, 128th Infantry, 32nd Division during World War I. Wisconsin National Guard photo by Capt. Brian FaltinsonVOLK FIELD, Wis. — About 200 people gathered on Veterans Day to commemorate 28 Ho-Chunk men – known as Winnebago Indians in 1917 — from the area surrounding this National Guard training base who joined the Wisconsin National Guard 100 years ago for the “Great War” in Europe.
The families of these warriors — known as Descendants of Red Arrow — have met at Volk Field since 1977 to celebrate their service, their memory, and the 32nd “Red Arrow” Division, which continues today as the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, headquartered perhaps a mile from the hangar hosting the annual pow-wow.
“This is our 40th anniversary — the pow-wow originally started with my uncle, Bill Miner, Jr.,” said Quentin Thundercloud, a member of Descendants of Red Arrow and long-time coordinator of the event. “We are celebrating 100 years since the 32nd Division formed back in 1917.
“It started out as Daughters of Red Arrow with my mother and her cousins,” Thundercloud continued. “Their fathers were in World War I and they decided to do this so we don’t forget — because the descendants have to know that, without them going to war and surviving, most of us would not be here today.”
Although the group has grown to honor all Ho-Chunk military veterans at the annual pow-wow, this year’s event focused on the original 28 men who joined Mauston’s Company D, 3rd Wisconsin Infantry Regiment 100 years ago — the unit that would become the 32nd Division’s Company D, 128th Infantry Regiment and fight in four major campaigns in France.
“Led by the Miner and DeCorah families, these men came from Camp Douglas, Mauston, Lyndon Station, Wisconsin Dells and Juneau County,” Thundercloud said. “They were not citizens and did not have to serve, but volunteered to do so. They formed up here at the base and headed down to Texas before they shipped out overseas.”
The event began with a rifle salute before family members of those veterans who had passed raised a line of American flags in honor of their service. Drummers from the Ho-Chunk tribe then played a warriors’ song.
“Family members attach the flag that draped their veteran’s coffin during their funeral, and we raise those flags to honor them,” Thundercloud said.
Attaching one of the flags was Delia DeCorah Maisells, daughter of Cpl. Russius DeCorah of Company D.
“I am here today honoring my dad and I thought this is where I belong, to show my respect for him, so I brought my dad’s flag to hang with the others today,” Maisells said.
Read more: Pow-wow honors Wisconsin WWI Native American veterans
History professor tells stories of difficulties African-Americans faced in WWI service
By Seth Abrahamson
via the Spectator (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire student newspaper) web site
Professor Selika Ducksworth-Lawton’s presentation was part of the ‘WWI and America’ series to commemorate 100 years since the U.S. entered the war. Photo by Kar Wei Cheng.On Tuesday, November 14, Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, a military historian and history professor at UW-Eau Claire, presented on African-American service in World War I.
The event was part of a two-week series put on by UW-Eau Claire, the McIntyre Library, the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild, Student Veterans of America-UWEC Chapter, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post and the Chippewa Valley Museum, to commemorate the centennial of the United States’s entrance into World War I.
Ducksworth-Lawton told stories of the difficulties African-Americans faced before the U.S. entered World War I, the environments the soldiers were put under during their time of service and how they were treated when they returned home.
The audience included college students, professors and a Korean War veteran who shared his own war experience with African-Americans.
Only 350,000 African-Americans served in World War I and a majority of those men were in support roles. Sixty thousand of those saw combat, including the famed “Harlem Hellfighters.”
African-Americans before World War I were not allowed to enlist in the military, according to Ducksworth-Lawton, because they were viewed as inferior to everyone else. All that changed in the early 1900s when a law termed “new negro” allowed African-Americans who were born after the Civil War to enlist.
Ducksworth-Lawton said African-Americans sought service to counter the stereotypes against them. They wanted equality, a chance to show to everyone else they belonged but also education, as many of them were not literate.
Read more: History professor tells stories of difficulties African-Americans faced in WWI service
Montana's Female WWI Veterans recognized by U.S. Senate
By Ed Saunders, LTC, USA (Ret.)
Montana World War I Centennial Committee
The discharge papers Regina McIntyre Early of Montana showed she served at multiple Army hospitals in France during and after World War 1. (Photo courtesy of Ed Saunders)This Veterans Day has been when many Americans observed the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entering World War I.
Generally, the women World War I veterans of America, and of Montana, haven't received the long-overdue recognition they earned and deserve. Most - but not all - of America's World War I women veterans were members of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps.
Two known Montana women WWI veterans were cited for heroism under fire, another was cited for distinguished service. Two searched the war-torn battlefields of France to find their brother's graves. One fought for over sixty years to get veterans status for the women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. All served with high honor and sacrifice.
In October I wrote U.S. Senator Jon Tester, D-Mont, senior senator, U.S. Senate Veterans Affairs committee, and requested he read into the Senate Congressional Record (CR) a commendation for Montana and America's women veterans of World War One.
Based on my previous research on Montana's women WWI veterans, I wrote a draft commendation for him to consider and sent it with my letter.
On Oct 30th, Senator Tester read the commendation on the U.S. senate floor. Officially, the cite is at U.S. Senate Congressional Record, Volume 163, Number 175 (Monday, October 30, 2017).
Read more: Montana's Female WWI Veterans recognized by U.S. Senate
Historic WWI DH4 aircraft will fly again
By Aaron Mudd
via the Bowling Green Daily News web site
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Nearly 100 years after the end of World War I, a team of aviation enthusiasts in Kentucky is hard at work restoring the first warplane built in America — the Dayton-Wright DH4.
A total of 4,846 American built DH4s, dubbed the "Liberty Plane", served in thirteen Army Air Service squadrons during WWI."Not many people know about World War I," said Dorian Walker, a member of the Saving Liberty DH4 group. "That doesn't mean it's any less important."
Walker and the group members hope to remind the public of that importance by restoring the DH4 in time for test flights by next spring with plans for airshows across the country and a trip to France.
"It gives you a chance to witness something firsthand," he said, adding the historic, wooden biplane is a symbol for how far American aviation has come in 100 years.
For Blake Henderson, a pilot and aircraft mechanic from Westmoreland, Tennessee, restoring the plane is a way to connect with his own history.
Henderson's grandfather, W.E. Henderson, helped rescue the "Lost Battalion," which was the name given to roughly 500 men who were cut off by German forces over France's Argonne Forest.
Now, nearly a century later, Henderson looks at the DH4 as the plane that got America's servicemen into the air. After the British gave the U.S. the rights to build the plane, Henderson said engineers gave it a bigger engine, a higher-caliber gun and other modifications.
"We didn't have an air force so we had to build this up quickly," he said.
Restoring the DH4 is one way to shed light on what Henderson described as a "forgotten war," along with the sacrifices of veterans who fought under the brutal conditions of trench warfare.
"They need to be remembered," he said.
Read more: Historic WWI DH-4 aircraft will fly again
In nation's capital, ground officially broken for National WWI Memorial
By C. Todd Lopez
via the Army.mil web site
WASHINGTON -- Descendants of Soldiers and other veterans of World War I will soon be able to visit a national memorial in the nation's capital that commemorates the sacrifices of their great-grandfathers who fought in "the Great War."
The official party, including Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark Milley, fourth from the right, breaks ground for the the National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, D.C., Nov. 9, 2017. Construction of the memorial is expected to be completed in a year. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by EJ Hersom)An array of politicians, military leaders, veterans and officials from the World War I Centennial Commission officially broke ground for the National World War I Memorial, Nov. 9, at Pershing Park in Washington, D.C.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of U.S. involvement in World War I. It was April 6, 1917, when the United States declared war on Germany. The first American Soldiers would make their way across the Atlantic in June of that year.
The new memorial to those who served in World War I will share a space with an existing memorial dedicated to General of the Armies John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing, who served as commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I. The site is a short walk east of the White House.
Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark A. Milley attended the groundbreaking as one of more than a dozen officials. He told those in attendance that World War I provided many lessons learned. Along with lessons in strategy, operations, and tactics, the world also learned lessons in politics and government, he said.
"But if there is one lesson most of all to learn, it is the lesson to vow to never let it happen again," Milley said. "The way to prevent war is to maintain your preparedness for war, in the words of George Washington, our first president."
Read more: In nation's capital, ground officially broken for National WWI Memorial
Commission hosts Ceremonial Groundbreaking for WWI Memorial
United States World War One Centennial Commission Chair Terry Hamby speaks at the ceremonial groundbreaking for the national World War I Memorial at Pershing Park .
Pershing Park event thanks supporters & partners in the development of newest national memorial in the nation's capital
By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission
WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking for America's World War I Memorial on Thursday, November 9, 2017 at the memorial's site, Pershing Park.
Featured speakers for the event included U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, memorial architect Joseph Weishaar, and Centennial Commission Chair Terry Hamby.
(L to r) U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley, and Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser were among the speakers at the ceremonial groundbreaking November 9 at Pershing Park.Attendees included a host of notable military & veteran leaders, as well as Centennial Commission members, notable members of the historical/cultural community, U.S. and city officials, and major donors.
For the ceremonial groundbreaking, the keynote speakers used presentation-shovels to turn soil that came to the ceremony from the Meuse-Argonne battlefield in France. Meuse-Argonne was the site of the largest military battle in the history of the United States military, and involved over one million service-members. 26,000 Americans were lost in the battle.
Thursday’s event was ceremonial in nature, designed to bring together the Centennial Commission’s partners and supporters. The memorial has been granted unanimous design-concept approval by the regulatory agencies, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, the U.S. National Park Service, and the National Capital Planning Commission. However, the development process is still underway, and the Centennial Commission continues to work closely with those agencies to develop the final architecture for the site.
The Centennial Commission used the event to announce that they had received leadership gifts from two of America’s leading veteran service organizations, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Each of the organizations made donations in the amount of $300,000, to be used for the creation of the new national-level memorial.
Read more: Centennial Commission hosts Ceremonial Groundbreaking for America's WWI Memorial
America’s forgotten memorial — the time to honor our WWI warriors has finally come
By Sandy Pershing
via The Hill web site
Historians and those who teach history have been engaged in a fierce but ultimately academic debate over the nation’s understanding of the root causes and lasting legacies of World War I. Unfortunately, few are listening.
Sandra Sinclair PershingEducators rhetorically ask whether we understand that many of our 21st century political borders and contemporary ethnic blood feuds were created by four years of carnage that scarred the world some 100 years ago. Its legacy also includes the birth of modern civil rights, women’s suffrage, contemporary military technology, and a dominant America that became the world’s feared and respected superpower. That long-ago war has lessons for today’s diplomats and generals as well as students in our classrooms, but our national character traditionally declines to be reflective.
Finding consensus on how to teach, much less what to teach, consumes us on topics far less complex than World War I. Common Core, for example, requires educators to teach to the test if they expect their own careers to advance. World War I is left to be taught with catchphrases, abbreviated narratives and summaries designed to “check the box.” What irony, then, when we consider that paying solemn tribute to those who have fallen in the defense of freedom is part of America’s proud legacy, even if it takes more than a generation to recognize that sacrifice.
Since World War I, the conclusion of each conflict that sent our young people off to war has generated a prolonged and inexplicable national debate on where and how and when to honor those who have died in the line of duty. It would take until 1982 for the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., to be dedicated. The Korean War Memorial in the nation’s capital was finally completed in 1995. And it wasn’t until 2004 that the World War II Memorial was opened to the public on the National Mall.
The World War I Memorial to the millions of Americans who served? One hundred years later, it hasn’t been started.
It would be inconceivable to Gen. Jack Pershing that a century ago he would be told the men under his command would not have a memorial to their sacrifice in the nation's capital when the centennial of that conflict would finally arrive. Yet that reality overshadows the programs and retrospectives now underway as we study the cause and effect of America’s entry into “The Great War.”
Read more: America’s forgotten memorial — the time to honor WWI warriors has finally come
Ceremonial presentation of donation checks from the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign wars:(r to l) Terry Hamby, World War One Centennial Commission Chair; Keith Harman, commander-in-chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars; and Denise Rohan, National Commander of the American Legion.
The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars make significant donations to help create America's National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC
By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission
WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission announced Thursday that the commission has received leadership gifts from the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Each of the gifts is in the amount of $300,000, and will be used for the creation of America's World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC.
The Centennial Commission was established by Congress in 2013 to provide education programs, public outreach, and commemorative events regarding the American involvement in the war. The Centennial Commission was also authorized by Congress to create a new national-level memorial in the nation's capital, to honor the men and women who served.
The American Legion was founded by World War I veterans in 1919, as a veteran support organization made up of former and current U.S. military members. It has since become the nation’s largest veterans organization. Throughout its history, The Legion has been committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in America’s communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and support for servicemembers and veterans.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars was founded in 1899 to support all honorably-discharged servicemembers, from any military branch, who served the U.S. in wars, campaigns, expeditions, on foreign soil, or hostile waters. The VFW grew rapidly after World War I, with hundreds of thousands eligible veterans returning from the war. The VFW today is the nation’s oldest and largest major combat veterans organization
While it is a Congressional Commission, the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission operates solely through private donation. The founding sponsor for the Centennial Commission is the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, in Chicago. Their continued support, since 2013, has allowed the Centennial Commission to undertake numerous successful education partnerships, memorial restoration grants, and historical/cultural exhibits & symposia.
Read more: American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars make significant donations to Memorial
Veterans, dignitaries break ground for D.C. World War I Memorial
By Anthony C. Hayes
via the Baltimore Post-Examiner web site
In an act which many Americans feel is long overdue, almost 300 people joined members of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission yesterday, as it hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking for a World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C. The new memorial will be erected on the southeast side of the White House, on the parcel of land known as Pershing Park.
Dignitaries participating in the ceremonial groundbreaking for the National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC shovel soil brought from French battlefields, signifying the allied service and sacrifice of those who fought for the the United States in the Great War.The event was a flourish of sights and sounds. Participants included a host of U.S. Military Academy Cadets, the Pershing Rifles Group, and the U.S. Army Band’s “Pershing’s Own” Brass Quintet, and over a dozen World War I living-history reenactors.
Attendees included a host of notable military and veteran leaders, as well as Centennial Commission members, notable members of the historical/cultural community, U.S. and city officials, and major donors. Also on hand were military representatives from many of America’s allies during World War I.
“Our duty as citizens of a free country is to remember our Veterans – to honor them every day,” said David Shulkin, U.S. Secretary for Veteran’s Affairs. “Americans benefit from Veterans’ service, so we all have a role in building this monument to memorialize those who served in World War I. We honor them, so Americans serving today know that they, too, will be remembered and cared for in the years after.”
As a backdrop in Pershing Park, the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, provided “Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace “, a special traveling exhibit of art photographs taken at the battlefields of France and Belgium, telling the story of America’s doughboys in the war. The “Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace” exhibit will remain for viewing in Pershing Park until December 8th.
For the ceremonial groundbreaking, the keynote speakers used presentation-shovels to turn soil transported from the Meuse-Argonne battlefield in France. Meuse-Argonne was the site of the largest military battle in the history of the United States military and involved over one million service-members. Twenty-six thousand Americans were lost in the battle.
The Centennial Commission also used the event to announce that they had received leadership gifts from two of America’s leading veteran service organizations, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Each of the organizations made donations in the amount of $300,000, to be used for the creation of the new national-level memorial.
Read more: Veterans, dignitaries break ground for D.C. World War I Memorial
Ground broken for long-awaited WWI memorial in DC
By Michael S. Darnell
via the Stars and Stripes web site
WASHINGTON — After years of false starts, unused plans and fundraising drives, the National World War I Memorial is finally on track.
Dignitaries including Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin helped to break ground on the long-awaited memorial to the “War to End all Wars" Thursday at Pershing Park.
US Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the National World War I Memorial. “Here in Washington D.C. we are very fortunate to have access to many of the nation’s memorials, museums and monuments that tell our nation’s history,” Bowser said. “And we know that the World War I memorial will be a vital and long-awaited addition to this story.”
Plans for the recent memorial date back years. In 2013, the World War One Centennial Commission was formed, in part to oversee the design and construction of the memorial.
The site of the eventual monument was hotly debated, with some wanting it to reside on the National Mall, nearer the memorials to the Korean War, World War II and the Vietnam Wall. Those plans were changed and finalized in 2014, where the commission decided on Pershing Park, a small, often-overlooked area dedicated to the famous World War I general, John “Black Jack” Pershing.
In 2015, the commission held an international competition for the design of the eventual monument. A young student architect named Joe Weishaar, then only 25 years old, and sculptor Sabin Howard eventually won that competition.
Weishaar was on hand for the ceremony and spoke to the crowd. He said being a part of the monument that will rest in Pershing Park was the greatest honor of his life.
“It may be long overdue, but today marks another point in the journey of making sure they’re not forgotten,” Weishaar said of the long-dead veterans of World War I.
But memorials like this one aren’t for the dead. They’re for the living, reminders of conflicts that should never be forgotten, said one veteran with familial ties to World War I.
Read more: Ground broken for long-awaited WWI memorial in DC
Army, VA Chiefs Attend WWI Memorial Ceremonial Groundbreaking
By Richard Sisk
via the Military.com web site
WASHINGTON, DC — In a shabby, partly abandoned little park about a block from the White House, dignitaries gathered Thursday to make amends for the "national tragedy" that left World War I off the roster of America's conflicts that have memorials in Washington, D.C.
General Mark A. Milley, U.S. Army Chief of Staff, speaks at the ceremonial groundbreaking for the National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, D.C. Nov. 9, 2017. (DoD photo by EJ Hersom)Once the homeless were cleared from the area, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley; Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David Shulkin; and Sandra Sinclair Pershing, the granddaughter-in-law of World War I commander Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, joined others in taking gold-colored shovels to turn over soil brought from a century-old battlefield in France.
"It's a national tragedy that the millions of vets of the 'Great War' who were the parents of the greatest generation have not been memorialized in our capital," said Terry Hamby, a Vietnam veteran and commissioner of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission.
"Today, this groundbreaking service starts a process of erecting a memorial," Hamby said, just days before the nation again marks Veterans Day, which began as "Armistice Day" after World War I.
Hamby spoke in front of posters and placards put up by the commission to tell some of the story of the 4.4 million Americans who answered the call to arms for the "war to end all wars."
There was a quote from an Australian trooper to his new American trench pal: "You'll do me, Yank, but you chaps are a bit rough."
That translates as admiration in Australian for the "Doughboys" of the 131st and 132nd regiments of the 33rd Division of the Illinois National Guard, who had just gone over the top in a frontal assault that drove back the Germans in the French summer of 1917.
Read more: Army, VA Chiefs Attend WWI Memorial Ceremonial Groundbreaking
A ceremonial shovel is seen at the groundbreaking for the national World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. The memorial, designed by 25-year-old architect Joseph Weishaar, is expected to be completed next year. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
National World War I Memorial breaks ground in Washington, D.C.
By Ed Adamczyk
via the United Press International web site
Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Groundbreaking was held in Washington, D.C.'s Pershing Park, on Thursday for the long-awaited World War I Memorial.
The ceremony marked the start of the $50 million project to honor those who served in what was first called The Great War, which involved U.S. servicemen between 1917 and 1918.
The design features soldiers on a 65-foot-long horizontal panel, and $12 million in private contributions has so far been raised. The World War I Centennial Commission said its goal is to complete the memorial by the end of next year.
Pershing Park, which is being remodeled to accommodate the new memorial, fell into neglect after it was built in 1981 as part of a design renaissance along Washington's Pennsylvania Avenue. A centerpiece of the park is a statue of Gen. John J. Pershing, commander of U.S. forces in WWI -- which is also referred to as The War to End All Wars.
Read more: National World War I Memorial breaks ground in Washington, D.C.
Military, government leaders break ground on WWI Memorial in D.C.
By Mike Carter-Conneen
via the WJLA (Washington, DC) web site
WASHINGTON (WJLA) — Veterans, military leaders and members of Congress broke ground Thursday on a new war memorial in Washington considered long overdue. It will honor Americans who served in World War I and it will be built at 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest in Pershing Park.
Military, government leaders break ground on WWI Memorial in D.C. (ABC7)Just in time for Veterans Day 2017 — once known as Armistice Day marking the end of the war in 1918 — government and military leaders marked the start of the National World War I Memorial. At the groundbreaking ceremony, they shoveled soil from Meuse-Argonne Battlefield in France.
NPS regional director Bob Vogel said, “Archival footage of the frenzied celebration in the nation's capital of the Armistice on November 11th, 1918, shows Washingtonians packed shoulder to shoulder across Pennsylvania Avenue right here in front of the Willard hotel.”
The granddaughter of famed Army General John Pershing and others at the event expressed regret this day took 100 years.
“I think it was due to the Depression and the fact that the war was so horrific that no one wanted to talk about it,” said Sandra Sinclair Pershing. “Then, World War II happened. And everyone got swept up in that.”
Former Senator, World War II and Korean War veteran John Warner attended the groundbreaking, along with veterans from every major conflict since.
VA Secretary David Shulkin acknowledged both of his grandfathers served in World War I.
Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley emphasized the more than 200,000 Americans wounded in the so-called "Great War" and more than 100,000 more killed.
“It's our duty to remember what they fought for, why they fought. It's our duty to carry on that legacy,” Milley said.
Read more: Military, government leaders break ground on WWI Memorial in D.C.