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

 

 

April 6, 2017 - Third Event
Claremont University Commemoration

Claremont McKenna College Campus, Claremont, California

 

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

 

claremont university roberts pavilion

Historians, Authors, and Musical Specialists Commemorate the Centennial as Local Dignitaries Present Proclamations

On the campus of the Claremont Universityarise joyringers centerArise Joy Ringers handbell choir in Claremont, California, on the evening of April 6, 2017 members of the California World War One Centennial Task Force joined efforts with Lieutenant Colonel Evan Wollen, Professor of Military Science of the Claremont McKenna College ROTC Golden Lions Battalion, to host an evening event recalling the U.S. entry into WW1 at the Roberts Pavilion Sports Arena on the Claremont McKenna College campus.

The evening of commemorating and honoring the American sacrifices made in the war effort, while educating those who attended the event, includedre enactor damian stellabottWW1 re-enactor Damian Stellabott guest speakers expert on the topic, re-enactors, exceptional live music performances, recent authors of books on WW1, a dramatic historiographic presentation, presentations of proclamations from local officials, and an impressive display of memorabilia and photos from the war.

vfw post 12034 la verne band of brothers cgVFW Post 12034 La Verne Band of Brothers Color Guard Local dignitaries, authors, and historians were present to commemorate the United States entry into World War One. To open the event, Arise Joy Ringers handbell choir processed into positions playing The American March followed by the Band of Brothers Color Guard VFW POST 12034 of La Verne, CA., who presented the colors.

At that, the bell choir played the national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, in salute. The Color Guard posted the colors, and the Master of Ceremonies, California WW1 Centennial Task Force Co-Director, Bill Betten welcomed thebill betten accepts proclamation from montclair councilman bill ruhCalifornia WW1 Centennial Task Force Co-Director Bill Betten accepts WW1 Centennial proclamation from Montclair Councilman Bill Ruh audience, and introduced the special guests and dignitaries. These included the mayors and city council-members of two cities from the region who were there to present proclamations. The City of Montclair, represented by council-member Bill Ruh and Trisha Martinez, as well as Montclair city employee Marcia Richter, presented an impressive proclamation recognizing the California WW1Centennial Task Force and the centennial. Mayor Larry Schroder of Claremont presented a beautifully framed document proclaiming the importance of the centennial and the work of the Centennial Task Force as well.

bill betten accepts certificate from clarmont mayor larry schroderCo-Director Bill Betten accepts a centennial certificate from Claremont Mayor Larry Schroder The MC then introduced Bob Morley who acted as narrator for a dramatic historiographic presentation staged by local talent portraying known characters such as, President Woodrow Wilson, California WW1 pioneering aviators and Lafayette Escadrille pilots Edwin Parsons and Didier Masson, as well the anonymous voices of common Californians of the time, such as journalists, soldiers, sailors, housewives and mothers. 

At an appropriate moment during the performance, the Arise Joy Ringers Handbell Choir played a George M. Cohan medley that included the ever popular period pieces You're a Grand Old Flag and Over There.the arise joyringers tribute

To recall the spirit in which the nation was responding at the time, and to honor the bravery of many young Americans who answered the call to arms, the Arise Joy Ringers played the hymn that resounded throughout the nation at the time evidencing the people's spirit and support, Mine Eyes have seen the Glory.

mc bill betten introduces guest authorsMaster of Ceremonies, Bill Betten then returned to the podium to introduce the evening's keynote speakers. Bill explained how pleased he was that he could share with those in attendance the authors of the books Redlands in WW1 and Deadly Secret of the Lusitania . Both authors spoke of the impact of the war in this country focusing on the service of Californians in the war, as well as the effect of the devastating loss of the sinking of the ocean liner Lusitania by a German submarine.

nathan gonzalez authorNathan Gonzalez - Co-author of Redlands in WW1Nathan Gonzales, co-author of Redlands in WW1 gave an impressive talk on how the lives of local California residents were affected or altered by service in the war. Ivan Light, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at UCLA,dr ivan lightDr. Ivan Light - Author of Deadly Secret of the Lusitania and author of Deadly Secret of the Lusitania spoke of the relationships of the liner's tragedy to the war, and the controversy that surrounds it even today.

Bill Betten then conducted an Author’s Panel where prepared questions were asked of the authors and experts, while the audience could also present questions.

The Arise Joy Ringers then closed the commemoration by playing an invigorating rendition of God Bless America, martene craigs arise joyringersConductor Martene Craig directs the Arise in Arts Joyringers as Jeff Mellard sings.reminding all of the bells that rang across the nation nearly 100 years ago at the announcement of the end of the war, when church steeples, court houses, and school house bells tolled the news.
The imagery of the bellringers was stunning, and the Arise presentation tables presentedmemorial commemoration wreathOffical California WW1 Centennial Task Force Memorial Commemoration Wreath the vibrant red of the Flanders Fields poppies, the universal symbol of the war.

 

ww1 artifacts displayA small portion of the WW1 artifacts actually carried by our Doughboys on display that night.Throughout the event a sizable display of WW1 artifacts was presented by Co-director Bill Betten.  It included posters, uniforms, and all manner of items actually carried by WW1 Doughboys. With the help of the Claremont Heritage at the Garner House of Claremont, CA,historic charter of claremont american legionActual historic charter of the Claremont American Legion formed by Doughboys and sailors who fought in WW1. rare items were displayed for all to investigate that included the original charter of the first American Legion post in Claremont showing those Claremont men who fought and survived the war to return as its charter members.

 

us soldiers training marching down harvard aveFirst public viewing of 100-year-old photo of U.S. soldiers in training for France photographed marching down Harvard Ave. A very special treat from the Garner House collection were photos of California recruits in training. These rare photos recently uncovered were allowed to be placed on display for the first time in nearly a century.on the skirmish line pomona college 1918On the Skirmish Line - Pomona College 1918

Though these recognizable images are iconic for the time, they are a rare and fascinating study of the Californian response to the war effort. Shot on local streets, and at the local college they bring the war right to our front doors as many of the buildings still stand , or match similar structures we can still see today around the area.

troops saluting the colors pomona college 1918Troops in training in Southern California saluting the colors at Pomona College 1918Very excited to have the photos for display, the Master of Ceremonies stated, "We were very blessed to have found such important evidence of the state's response to the call to service, but that they are of this college's sights and former students is exceptional."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional event photos:

author nathan gonzalezNathan Gonzalez speaks on Californians in Pershing's American Expeditionary Force overseas.  mc bill betten introducing author dr ivan lightMaser of Ceremonies Bill Betten introducing author Dr. Ivan Light.author dr ivan lightAuthor and historian Dr. Ivan Light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

claremont doughboy k powellClaremont native son and WW1 hero - Doughboy C. Keith Powellcourtland jindraCalifornia WW1 Centennial Task Force Co-Director Courtland Jindra explains the plans of the WW1 Centennial Commission to construct a National Monument in Washington DC for those who served in WW1.arise handbell bannerClose-up of the Arise handbell choir banner. Though entertaining, the handbells established a level of dignity while giving honor at the commemoration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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