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

 California Remembers - The U.S. Enters the Great War

 

On April 6, 2017, across the state, Californians remembered the U.S. entry into World War 1 with three significant events. Two were held in Southern California, and one in the northern half of the state.

 

April 6, 2017 - First Event
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commemoration

Exposition Park, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California

 

By Bill Betten, Co-Director of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force

 

ww1 plaque commemoration memorial coliseum at exposition park los angeles

At what is surely California's largest WW1 memorial, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, dignitaries, celebrities, re-enactors, and the common patriot attended a well-prepared commemoration that included a formal color guard, speakers, poetic readings, and dramatizations. The event, organized by Courtland Jindra, one of the California World War One Centennial Task Force Co-Directors, and the Memorial Coliseum, was a superb example of preparation.

 

national anthem colorguard ww1 commemoration memorial coliseumLos Angeles High School JROTC honor guard present the colors as singer/songwriter Annie Boxell sings our National AnthemAfter the Los Angeles High School JROTC honor guard presented the national colors kicking off the program at 1:00 P.M., speakers that included veteran actors and producers addressed those in attendance with selections from 100-year-old articles from the LA Times, a selection from the infamous Zimmerman Telegram, and readings from actual letters written a century ago from California Doughboys in active service. A special surprise, in the personage of a re-enactor, was the appearance of First Lady “Edith Wilson” who spoke to the crowd on behalf of her husband Woodrow Wilson.mrs woodrow wilson re enactor speaking at memorial coliseumRe-enactor Gay Storm speaking at memorial coliseum as Mrs. Woodrow Wilson.

Another special opportunity for those in attendance was the unique sign of conciliation when Henri Vantieghem, the Consul General of Belgium, and Hans Jörg Neumann, Consul General of Germany shook hands and together laid the commemoration wreath at the coliseum's permanent bronze plaque to those who served in WW1.ww1 centennial commemoration exposition park wreath It was in 1914 that Germany drove through Belgium and on into France. That offensive instantly put the two nations at war, but now, 100 year later, the two representatives of their respective embassies stood side-by-side to honor those Americans who fought so bravely. Mr. Tom Ruck, Director of the Los Angeles National Cemetery, assisted the the two foreign dignitaries in placing the wreath at the coliseum's 50th Anniversary Commemoration plaque. Since all of the Americans who served in WW1 are gone, and as official caretaker of the resting place of so many U.S. WW1 soldiers and sailors, it was fitting that Mr. Ruck represent all of the Americans who served.belgian german council representatives place wreath at ww1 commemoration

 

belgian consul general henri vantieghem german consul general hans jorg neumann thomas ruck L to R: The Consul General of Belgium, Henri Vantieghem, Mr. Tom Ruck, Director of the Los Angeles National Cemetery, and the Consul General of Germany Hans Jörg Neumannforgein dignitaries place wreath at coliseum ww1 memorial

 

Dignitaries at Memorial Coliseum April 6th WW1 CommemorationForeign & Local Dignitaries at Memorial Coliseum April 6th WW1 CommemorationThe Coliseum served as a fitting site, as it was originally constructed as a World War I memorial and rededicated in 1968 to all 4.7 million Americans who served in the war.

California World War I Centennial Task Force co-director and amateur historian Courtland Jindra said, “I wanted desperately to hold the event at the Coliseum,” Jindra constructed the script, setting, and speakers to transport the audience back in time to 100 years ago by creating a narrative of events starting in 1914 and ending with the U.S. Congress declaration of war in 1917.

Present in the audience were veterans, community leaders, historians, and many who came just to honor and remember those who served. In particular were members of Post 43 and Squadron 43 of the Hollywoodpost 43 members in audience at ww1 commemoration in los angelesAmerican Legion Post members scattered throughout the Audience at the WW1 Commemoration at the LA Memorial Coliseum. American Legion who have supported WW1 commemorations and monument restorations throughout the area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more about it at: http://dailytrojan.com/2017/04/06/veterans-speak-coliseum-wwi-event/

 on guard at ww1 memorial plaque at exposition park los angelesWW1 re-enactors Damian Stellabott and Phillip Dye on guard at the rededicated WW1 memorial plaque

 

 

 

California WW1 Centennial Task Force

 

Managing Board Co-Directors

Bill Betten
Sal Compagno
Col. Andre N. Coulombe
Hugh E. Crooks, Jr.
Mike Hanlon
Brigadier General R.G. Head, Ph.D. USAF (Ret.)
Prof. Jennifer Keene, Ph.D
Courtland Jindra
Dennis Matarrese
Major General Michael J. Myatt USMC (Ret.)
Stephen M. Payne, Ph.D.
Anthony Powell
Lester Probst
Prof. Jonathan Roth, Ph.D.
Col. Fred Rutledge 

Northern California Committee

Sal Compagno
Mike Hanlon
Stephen M. Payne, Ph.D.
Lt. Col. Kenneth Nielsen
Major General Michael J. Myatt USMC (Ret.)

Anthony Powell
Col. Fred Rutledge
Prof. Jonathan Roth, Ph.D.

Southern California Committee

Bill Betten
Maria Carrillo
Col. Andre N. Coulombe
Brigadier General R.G. Head, Ph.D. USAF (Ret.) 
Courtland Jindra
Lester Probst
Jeff Sharp

 Education Committee

Bill Betten, Master of Arts in Education, (Retired teacher DUSD, OUSD, AGUSD)
Lauren Weiss Bricker, Ph.D., Professor of Architecture at Cal State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Scott Corbett, Ph.D, Lecturer, History, CSUCI
Jennifer Keene, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of History, Chapman University
Michael Powelson, Ph.D., Lecturer, History, CSUCI
Jonathan Roth, Ph.D., Professor of History, SJSU, Burdick Military History Project Director [Committee Chair]
Miriam Raub Vivian, Ph.D.,  Professor of History, CSUB

Website Administrator

Bill Betten

 

Email: courtland.jindra@worldwar1centennial.org

Snail Mail:
     California World War 1Centennial Task Force
     330 Myrtlewood Dr.
     Calimesa, CA 92320

 

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