Men in WWI-era military uniforms take part in a remembrance ceremony at Meuse-Argonne cemetery in northeastern France. As ceremonies are held around the world to mark the 100th anniversary of the war’s end, two Arkansas-based U.S. Army Reserve officers have been sent to France for centennial events.
Reserve officers from Arkansas hail vets of WWI
By Alex Gladden
via the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper web site
It's been 100 years since World War I.
In France, volunteers read the names of soldiers aloud and placed candles by their graves Sunday, honoring the 26,000 Americans who died in the Muese-Argonne offensive, which helped bring an end to the war. Despite the rain and strong winds, the people gathered for the ceremony in the Muese-Argonne cemetery, the largest American cemetery in Europe.
The celebration is one of many events around the world commemorating World War I.
The U.S. sent two Army Reserve officers, both based in Arkansas, to World War I centennial events in France.
The officers, Col. Daniel Hershkowitz and Command Sgt. Maj. James Hopkins, left for Verdun, France, on Sept. 18 and will return Tuesday. They are members of the 90th Sustainment Brigade, which was founded during World War I as the 90th Infantry Division, and are representing their group at the ceremonies.
"The big thing is to never forget some of these historic battles that took place in the name of freedom," Hershkowitz said.
Both U.S. Sen. John Boozman's maternal and paternal grandfathers fought in the war, as did his great uncle. His maternal grandfather was gassed and later died of complications from exposure.
The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies located in the Arkansas Studies Institute recorded 71,862 Arkansas soldiers who served in the war; of those, 2,183 died. But as an indirect result of war, approximately 7,000 Arkansans died of the flu in 1918.
"It really is something that had an impact on Arkansas," Boozman said.
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Camp Doughboy brings World War I history alive on Governors Island
By Anthony C. Hayes
via the Baltimore Post-Examiner web site
New York — It’s a sunny Sunday afternoon on beautiful Governors Island. Couples stroll hand-in-hand around the promenade, stopping now and again to savor the view. Cyclists slowly bike the pathways, while giggling children run to avoid the grasp of their parents’ outstretched arms. It is odd to think, as you look around, that a such a serene and joyful place, just off the southern tip of Manhattan, could have been ground zero for America’s entry into World War I.
The only known gas mask for a horse in America was on display at Camp Doughboy. (Photo by Anthony C. Hayes)But an official history of the island records that, in 1917, “In the first act of the war by U.S. armed services, the 22nd Infantry Regiment stationed on Governors Island seized all German-owned cruise ships and ship terminals in the Hudson River in Manhattan and Hoboken. Within weeks, the ships would be used to transport most of the two million American soldiers to France to fight in the war.”
Amongst the two million “doughboys” who sailed for France from the terminals near Governors Island was the commander of the American Expeditionary Forces, Gen. John J. Pershing, and his trusted aide, Lieut. George S. Patton.
The doughboys would return to New York, once the war was over, to the cheers of an enormous tickertape parade. And life in the United States as a result of the war would never be quite the same.
Recalling life as it was actually lived and breathed during the WWI-era, military and civilian reenactors gathered on Governors Island last weekend for the third annual Camp Doughboy World War I History Weekend. The intriguing experience – which drew some 8,500 visitors to the bustling encampment – was held on the island’s Parade Ground – some five hundred yards east of historic Fort Jay.
The event was free and open to the public.
“We’re standing here, where Gen. Leonard Wood once was. And Pershing left from Governors Island, so this is the perfect place to hold this event,” said historian Kevin Fitzpatrick. “The National Parks Service has been a great partner. They appreciate the island’s patronage and the way we are using this space. We had 5,000 visitors on Saturday and another 3,500 today (Sunday.) This is the last event we are doing this season, but we’ll be back next year. And of course, we will be participating in the big parade in New York on November 11. We’ll have 100 in uniform for that event.”
Read more: Camp Doughboy brings World War I history alive on Governors Island