World War I memorial rededicated at Orleans County Courthouse
By Tom Rivers
via the OrleansHub.com web site
ALBION, NY – A Bronze tablet listing the names of 24 soldiers from Orleans County who died in World War I was rededicated Friday, June 9 at the County Courthouse.
Tim Archer, the service learning teacher at Albion, addresses a crowd during the dedication program at the courthouse. The marker was originally installed at the courthouse but was removed, and later was in possession of the American Legion. That veterans group formed when soldiers returned from World War I nearly 100 years ago.
The American Legion in Albion group sold its post building on Main Street to Community Action, and relocated to the former Scottish Pines golf course on Gaines Basin Road.
The Legion wanted to find a proper home for the memorial tablet, and reached out to Archer. His seventh grade students were doing research on local soldiers involved in World War I. The memorial tablet had been in storage.
The 3-by-5-foot plaque lists the names of soldiers from central Orleans – Barre, Albion, Gaines and Carlton – who died in the war. They include: John D. Arnett, Albert Beary, Jesse S. Brooks, John A. Butler, Leo. F. Christopher, Oliver E. Clement, Ronald F. Corey, Robert B. Densmore, Harry H. Dibley, Frederick Green, John Kurzawski, Martin Larwood, Louis Monacelli, Dewey Mott, Benjamin A. Needles, Leonard Osborne, Adolfo Passarelli, Stanley Rutkowski, James A. Sheret, Egbert Sheret, John H. Stevens, Alexander Wilson and Stanley P. Zyglarski.
“These men witnessed what no citizen, man, woman, or child, could ever imagine,” said County Historian Matthew Ballard. “A war that raged in the French countryside thousands of miles from home, exposing men to terrible disease, horrific weapons, chlorine and mustard gas, barbed wire and trenches, the list goes on.”
Seventh-grader Aurora Serafin was among the speakers during the rededication program. The Albion students had considered having the tablet placed at Mount Albion Cemetery, but decided the best spot for it would be its original location at the courthouse.
Ballard praised the students for leading the effort to have the memorial back on public display.
Read more: World War I memorial rededicated at County Courthouse
A Fighting Chance for Veterans: The Catholic Church, Catholic University, and World War I
By Paul Burgholzer
World War I took place at a time when there were few of the official channels of support for our military members and veterans that we have today – there was no Department of Veteran Affairs, there was no GI Bill, there were only a handful of organized Veteran Service Organizations (VSO’s) to advocate for veterans. Benefits and treatments afforded to Great War veterans were limited.
The hierarchy meeting that founded the National Catholic War Council However, there was enormous emotional support for the troops. As the United States entered World War I, public support for the war and for the military was very high.
Catholic Americans, and major Catholic organizations like the Knights of Columbus, joined the support effort and displayed spirited patriotism. One leader of that effort was John J. Burke (1875–1936).
Burke was a prominent Paulist priest in the United States, and editor of the widely-read Catholic World newspaper from 1903 to 1922. Burke saw a leadership role for the church, in helping the lives of the military members, as well as the lives of those veterans who were returning home.
The hierarchy of the Catholic Church in the US followed Father Burke’s vision. They reacted to this American patriotism by creating the National Catholic War Council. This council helped Catholics unite through American nationalism. The Council managed 700 Catholic organizations that contributed to the war effort, supported the creation of student army training camps, and even helped with efforts to get women involved in the war.
Read more: A Fighting Chance for Veterans: The Catholic Church, Catholic University, and World War I