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

World War I Centennial News


cst Bells Peace2Todd Hinz, a period re-enactor wearing a WWI unif1orm, reads Laurence Binyon's poem "For the Fallen" during a "Bells of Peace" remembrance ceremony held at the University of Minnesota’s Northrup Auditorium in Minneapolis on November 11. The names of the 1,024 Minnesotans killed in combat were read aloud. This followed the ringing of a bell 21 times, and the playing of taps.

Bells of Peace Rang Out Across Nation November 11

By Betsy Anderson
Program Coordinator, Bells of Peace, United States World War One Centennial Commission

The nation tolled its bells on November 11 in honor of the service and sacrifice of its World War I veterans, and all who have served in its Armed Forces.

PACFLT Bell fullPEARL HARBOR (Nov. 11, 2018) Operations Specialist 2nd Class Dominique Cannon, from Dallas, Texas, tolls 21 bells during a World War I commemoration ceremony celebrating Armistice and Veterans Day at the Pacific Fleet Boathouse. Armistice Day is commemorated every year in honor of the temporary cease fire between the Allied nations and Germany which went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month on November 11, 1918 seven months prior to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Rodriguez Santiago/Released)The Washington National Cathedral led the national bell tolling with 21 somber, muffled tolls. Also in Washington, D.C., the Netherlands Carillon near Arlington Cemetery, the Old Post Office bell on Pennsylvania Avenue, and the Robert Taft Carillon on the U.S. Capitol participated in the toll.

The U.S. Navy tolled bells across the fleet: In Honolulu, the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona tolled ship’s bells.

In New York, the bells tolled on the USS Olympia, now a museum ship that brought the remains of the Unknown Soldier across the Atlantic in 1921 for interment in Arlington National Cemetery.

In La Porte, Texas, the USS. Texas tolled its bells: the ship served in World War I and also in World War II at the Battle of Normandy.

Read more: Bells of Peace Rang Out Across Nation November 11

highbridge doughboy 5be09f0ee21a5The newly-refurbished Highbridge Doughboy in the Bronx. One of the most distinctive and recognizable variants of World War I memorials are the so-called “doughboy” statues. Though the derivation of the term “doughboy” remains in question, it was widely popularized during World War I to refer to infantrymen. Nine such statues were commissioned for New York City's parks, including the Highbridge Doughboy. After being in storage for more than 40 years, the Highbridge Doughboy was fully restored and erected in September of this year at a new prominent location at the gateway to the Highbridge community, next to Yankee Stadium at Jerome Avenue and 161st Street.

NYC Parks Celebrates and Commemorates WWI Armistice Centennial through 103 Memorials around the City

By Jonathan Kuhn, NYC Parks
Special to the United States World War One Centennial Commission web site

In honor of the centennial of the World War I armistice on November 11, NYC Parks’ Citywide Monuments Conservation Program (CMCP) staff joined forces with park partners this fall to refurbish and care for several monuments, including Father Duffy in Times Square, the Pleasant Plains Memorial on Staten Island, the Abingdon Square Doughboy in Greenwich Village, and the Carroll Park monument in Brooklyn.

For more info and photos, go to

With 103 memorials of all shapes and sizes erected in the aftermath of World War I, Parks has one of the most prevalent collections of memorials to this important moment in history. Memorials can be found across the city, with 21 in Brooklyn, 18 in the Bronx, 23 in Manhattan, 12 on Staten Island, and 29 in Queens. Through the Public Art Map on our website, you can explore monuments like the Astoria Park War Memorial in Queens to the Woodlawn Heights War Memorial in the Bronx.

Here are a few highlights of CMCP’s work on WWI monuments and memorials around the city:

Highbridge Doughboy
Jerome Avenue and 161st Street, Bronx
After being stored away for more than 40 years, this monument was fully restored and erected in September at a prominent new location at the gateway to the Highbridge community next to Yankee Stadium.

Dover Patrol monument
John Paul Jones Park, Brooklyn
Through a partnership with Karcher Company, the city’s tallest WWI monument (at 75’ high) has been fully cleaned and all masonry repointed. Dating to 1931 the monument honors the heroic naval fleet that patrolled the English Channel in WWI.

Read more: NYC Parks Celebrates and Commemorates WWI Armistice Cenetnnial through 103 Memorials around the City

AmericanHeritage Fall2018 C

Special World War I Issue of American Heritage Magazine

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission


By Edwin Grosvenor
American Heritage

To mark the Armistice Centennial, our commemorative partners, American Heritage magazine, have a new special issue that is all about World War I.

There’s some important writing here, including an essay that Herbert Hoover wrote in 1958 about his experiences as an aide to Wilson at the peace talks after World War I. This important first-person narrative candidly details the difficulties that Wilson faced in what Hoover called “the greatest drama of intellectual leadership in all history.”

Here are some of the other essays:

The Meaning of 1918, by John Lukacs. A century after the guns fell silent along the Western Front, the work they did there remains of incalculable importance to the age we inhabit and the people we are

Read more: Special World War I Issue of American Heritage Magazine

WWI Flag Exhibit at Virginia War Museum to Nov. 18

Flags of warBy Chris Garcia, Virginia War Museum
Special to the United States World War One Centennial Commission web site

The Virginia War Museum will be running a temporary exhibit "Flags of War: Virginia’s First World War Regimental Colors" from 11:00am thru 5:00pm until November 18, 2018.

The temporary exhibit will feature the regimental flags of Virginia’s units that served overseas in the 42nd, 29th and 80th Divisions as well as African American Engineer Battalions and Coast Artillery units.

This is the first time ever that all of the flags have been displayed for public viewing. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to view these sacred artifacts of Virginia’s role in the Great War. The exhibit will open at 11:00 AM, November 11, 2018.

In conjunction, the museum will be hosting a living history on Sunday, November 11, 2018 with re-enactors from the Great War Association to commemorate the centennial of the signing of the armistice. This is a perfect opportunity to learn more about the First World War through hands on activities and displays.

The exhibit is included with regular Museum admission ($8.00 Adults/$7.00 Active Duty Service Personnel/$7.00 Senior Citizens and $6.00 for Children ages 7 to 18.

For more information, visit the museum’s website


la 1541378724 kpegmwmk8i snap imageItalian President Sergio Mattarella, center, attends an Armed Forces Day ceremony in Rome. (Massimo Percossi / EPA-EFE/REX)

Italian observance for Armistice Day's 100th anniversary

via the Associated Press

The nation of Italy commemorated the 100th anniversary of the end of the war, this week. In official ceremonies in Rome and in Trieste, Italy's president Sergio Mattaella recalled Europe’s history, and urged young people to remember the conflict's lessons while striving for peaceful coexistence.

“To celebrate together the end of the war and to jointly honor the fallen — all the fallen — signifies to reiterate with force, all together, that over the path of war, we prefer to develop friendship and collaboration,” he said at a ceremony in Trieste, a port city not far from some of the deadliest battles between Italian soldiers and troops of the Austrian-Hungarian empire.

The events were part of a week of observances planned for the centenary of Armistice Day. More than 60 heads of state and government are expected to attend an international ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on the Nov. 11 anniversary.

Read more: Italian observance for Armistice Day's 100th anniversary


World War I: The War That Saved Democracy 

By Daniel J. Samet
Special to the United States World War One Centennial Commission web site

One hundred years ago on November 11, the First World War mercifully drew to a close. Across a devastated Western Front, British Tommies and French Poilus emerged from the trenches as their German adversaries capitulated. What few remember is that over two million American Doughboys stood in the Allied lines when the guns finally fell silent on November 11, 1918, after four years of slaughter that claimed 18 million lives.Safe for Democracy Poster

The Great War has never occupied the same place in American lore as it does in Europe. British schoolchildren learn to remember Flanders Fields, while almost all French towns have monuments to those “Morts pour la France.” This is not the case “over here”, where awareness of World War I is low to nonexistent, the important work of the United States World War One Centennial Commission notwithstanding. Mentioning places like Verdun, the Somme, and the Marne or names like Foch, Haig, and Ludendorff from this “forgotten war” will often draw blank stares. In forgetting the events of World War One, we also overlook one of its key consequences: the rescue of democracy around the world.

America’s raucous entry into global affairs during the war played a large role in saving the democratic order. In a break with the isolationist foreign policy of the past, President Woodrow Wilson framed American involvement as a means to support the free people of Europe, principally the British and French. The United States’ declaration of war on Germany in April 1917 and dispatch of millions of troops to Europe over the next year and a half were pivotal in securing an Allied victory. The democracies of Western Europe (Belgium, Britain, and France) could not have prevailed without robust American support.

Read more: World War I: The War That Saved Democracy

BOP Header

Bells of Peace to ring out November 11

Bell Tolling Time Is Here! 

By Betsy Anderson
Program Coordinator, Bells of Peace, United States World War One Centennial Commission

Over 10,000 people and organizations have signed up for the Bells of Peace project, promising to toll bells on November 11, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. local time to commemorate the Centennial of the Armistice and the service and sacrifice of the nation’s veterans. Bells will be tolled 21 times, at 5 second intervals, across the nation and wherever Americans gather to honor their veterans.

It’s not too late to register and participate! Download the free app on the App Store or Google Play, and register and upload images of your community’s commemoration event. Or, register on our website at

The Washington National Cathedral will lead off the national bell tolling at 11:00 a.m. during an interfaith sacred service there. The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is the Honorary Bell of Peace and will stand in silent witness while the Centennial Bell in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall tolls in honor of our veterans.

Bells will toll throughout the nation. The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York; the Grace Cathedral in Charleston, South Carolina; the Trinity Cathedral in Little Rock, Arkansas will toll along with bells in churches from coast to coast. Bells installed on trucks will toll in Loveland, Colorado. Bells will toll at overseas cemeteries where American service members are buried.

In Boston, ringers will ring a full peal of three hours at the Old North Church.


Read more: Bell Tolling Time Is Here!

New Lesson Plans available from the National Park Service

The Remarkable WWI Story of Colonel Young's Ride

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission


By Kathleen & Paul LaRue
National Museum of Afro-American History

What motivated African Americans to volunteer for a segregated military during WWI?

ColChasYoung1919When the United States entered World War I, segregation was entrenched in military culture as well as civilian society. It put barriers up to prevent African Americans from enlisting. Despite this, about 380,000 African Americans served in the U.S. military during the war.

Colonel Charles Young, of Wilberforce, Ohio, was the highest-ranking African American Army officer when American joined World War I in 1917. As such, Young was a remarkable success story.

He was the third black graduate of the United States Military Academy, class of 1889. Young enjoyed a diverse military career as a lieutenant of a cavalry troop squadron, and regimental commander, acting superintendent of a national park, military attaché to Haiti and Liberia, professor at Wilberforce University and military advisor to the President of Liberia.

Young had commanded the 2nd squadron cavalry regiment in the Punitive Expedition against Pancho Villa in Mexico, and had also served in the Spanish American War, and the Philippine Insurrection. On June 22, 1917 Charles Young became the first African American to reach the rank of Colonel.

Despite an impressive leadership record, the Army refused Young’s request to command troops in Europe. Military leaders told him he was not healthy enough to serve.

To prove his fitness, Young made a difficult ride on horseback, all the way from his home in Wilberforce to Washington, D.C. a distance of nearly five hundred miles.

Of his remarkable ride, Colonel Young said this. "As soon as the school year was over, I rode on horseback from Wilberforce to Washington, walking on foot fifteen minutes in each hour, the distance of 497 miles to show, if possible, my physical fitness for command of troops. I there offered my services gladly at he risk of life, which has no value to me if I cannot give it for the great ends for which the United States is striving."

Read more: The Remarkable WWI Story of Colonel Young's Ride

National Museum of the Marine Corps

National Museum of the Marine Corps to participate in Bells of Peace 

BOP Logo 200Quantico, VA — In 1917 World War I plunged the United States into the most horrific war we had ever fought overseas. A century later we still talk of the heroism, sacrifice and victories of the “war to end all wars.”

Join the National Museum of the Marine Corps in commemorating the centennial of WWI throughout 2017 and 2018. We will have special events, lectures and demonstrations throughout year that will allow visitors to experience the war that gained the Marines notoriety around the world.

On November 11, 2018 at 11:00 am local time, Americans across the nation will toll bells in remembrance of those who served and sacrificed during World War I.

The community is invited to join in the Bells of Peace event at the National Museum of the Marine Corps' Chapel in Semper Fidelis Memorial Park. At 11 am, the bell will toll in coordination with cannon firing on Marine Corps Base Quantico. The Bells of Peace event marks the end of the Museum's year-long WWI Centennial program.

Also, inside the Museum, the Outreach Team will have a special WWI display of artifacts, uniforms and gear for visitors to see.

The event is open to the public and free.


Centennial Commission Partner Organization Taps for Veterans

Sounds of Remembrance to commemorate the end of WWI with Taps

By Jari Villanueva
Taps for Veterans organization

On November 11, 2018, at precisely 11:00 am (local times), buglers and trumpeters from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War with a worldwide sounding of Taps and The Last Post, sponsored by Taps for Veterans.Sounds of Remembrance LOGO 768x334

Each performer will sound their call at a location of their choosing. Those locations will include WWI monuments, memorials, public squares, churches, and Veterans Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies.

As of October 24, more than 300 buglers from 39 states and 5 countries had already signed up to participate and organizers hope to eventually have more than 1000 participants registered. Interested buglers and trumpeters should register at All registered participants will be listed on the event website and included on the interactive world map of the event.

The videos they submit of their sounding of Taps or The Last Post on November 11 will also be posted on the website and all participants will receive a commemorative patch from Taps for Veterans following the event. In addition one participant, whose name will be chosen from the registered list, will receive an original World War One era bugle.

Read more: Sounds of Remembrance to commemorate the end of WWI with Taps

Garrett Anderson 1800Garrett Anderson, at the grave site in Arlington National Cemetery.

Marine Iraq Vet Secures Corrected Headstone for Great-Uncle Killed in WWI

By Richard Sisk
via the web site

The century-old wrong done to a Marine private fatally wounded on the last day of battle in World War I will finally be made right this coming Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery, thanks to another Marine who worked to correct the record on his behalf.

Arlington officials have approved a small ceremony on Nov. 11 at the grave of Marine Pvt. Joseph Otto Turley in Section 18, site 1345, to mark the installation of a new headstone with his correct date of death: Nov. 12, 1918.

For Garrett Anderson, Turley's great-nephew and a Marine veteran of Fallujah, it's the culmination of an undertaking that required him to delve into U.S. and family history to unearth the true story of his uncle's service.

The new tombstone with the correct date "means we didn't forget," said Anderson, who was a Lance Corporal with the 1st Battalion, Third Marines, at the second battle of Fallujah in November 2004 in Iraq. "It's part of the human experience -- to bring home our dead with dignity."

The ceremony will be the culmination of years of research by Anderson and his father, Dennis Anderson, a former editor and reporter for United Press International and the Associated Press, that began with the revelations found in an old trunk that was the keepsake of a great aunt.

Read more: Marine Iraq Vet Secures Corrected Headstone for Great-Uncle Killed in WWI

World War I Centennial Ceremony to Mark American Operations in Belgium 

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission

27102018 FFAC Centannial ABMC 5Attendees stand at the start of the Flanders Field Centennial Ceremony on 27 Oct.Flanders Field American Cemetery in Belgium hosted a ceremony on October 27, 2018 to mark the 100th anniversary of American operations in Belgium during World War I.

Among the attendees were military officials from the U.S. and Belgium, to include Belgium's Chief of Defense General Marc Compernol, and the Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission, William M. Matz, Jr.

Featured speaker was our Vice Chair of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission Edwin Fountain. In his remarks, he talked about the partnership between our two countries.

Fountain also told the story of American poet Archibald MacLeish, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry and a future Librarian of Congress.

"MacLeish was a veteran of the Great War. He volunteered as an ambulance driver in the Yale Mobile Hospital Unit, before joining the U.S. Army. MacLeish commanded a battery in the 146th Field Artillery, in the second battle of the Marne.

"MacLeish wrote:

The young dead soldiers do not speak
Nevertheless they are heard in the still houses: who has not heard them? . . .
They say, Our deaths are not ours: they are yours: they will mean what you make them.
They say, Whether our lives and our deaths were for peace and a new hope or for nothing we cannot say: it is you who must say this.
They say, We leave you our deaths: give them their meaning: give them an end to the war and a true peace: give them a victory that ends the war and a peace afterwards: give them their meaning.
We were young, they say. We have died. Remember us.

"Archibald MacLeish’s younger brother Kenneth also served in the Great War. Kenneth left college to join the U.S. Naval Reserve Flying Corps. One hundred years ago, on October 14, 1918, Kenneth was shot down, and killed, over Schore, Belgium, about 30 miles from here. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

"Kenneth is one of those American servicemen who today lies beneath the crosses, row on row. He is buried over there, in Plot B, Row 4, Grave 1."

Read more: World War I Centennial Ceremony to Mark American Operations in Belgium

KREITER10262018ArmoryDedication2Perkins’s nephew James Barry (shook hands with Colonel Brett Conaway after the unveiling. Barry’s daughter Jackie looked on.

Natick armory dedicated to Medal of Honor recipient from South Boston 

By Emily Sweeney
via the Boston Globe newspaper web site

NATICK, MA — One fateful October day a century ago during World War I, Private First Class Michael J. Perkins crawled up to a nest of enemy machine gunners that were throwing grenades at his platoon and waited for just the right moment. When the Germans opened the door, he tossed a bomb inside. Then forced his way in and attacked the machine gun crews, and single-handedly forced them to surrender.

The courage that the South Boston war hero displayed on the battlefield was recalled Friday morning, when the Massachusetts National Guard dedicated its armory on Speen Street in his honor.

Among those in attendance at Friday’s dedication ceremony were Gary W. Keefe, the adjutant general of the Massachusetts National Guard; state Representative David Linsky; Colonel Brett Conaway, the brigade commander for the 26th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade; as well as Perkins’s nephew and grand-niece.

“His story is the stuff of legends,” Conaway said.

Born in South Boston in 1892, Perkins was a member of the Company D, 101st Infantry Regiment, 26th Yankee Division when he was killed in action on Oct. 27, 1918.

Perkins’s nephew, James Barry, 84, said he grew up hearing about his uncle’s heroic acts on the battlefield, and was happy to see his uncle still remembered after all of these years.

“I kind of thought [his story] might have been” forgotten, Barry said. “But it wasn’t. Apparently it wasn’t.”

When Conaway spoke at the ceremony, he told the audience about the events that unfolded in France on that fateful day in October, and how Perkins bravely took on the machine gunners by himself.

Conaway said Perkins “voluntarily and alone” crawled up a hill to a German “pillbox” machine gun emplacement. After throwing the bomb inside the pillbox, he pulled out his trench knife and rushed inside, and fought off the machine gun crews. He killed or wounded several of them, and took about 25 of them as prisoners.

“He did what he had to do to silence those machine guns,” Conaway said. “He was as tough as nails.”

Read more: Natick armory dedicated to Medal of Honor recipient from South Boston

"Pershing" Donors

Founding Sponsor
PritzkerMML Logo

Starr Foundation Logo