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

Dispatch Newletter

The WWI Centennial Dispatch is a weekly newsletter that touches the highlights of WWI centennial and the Commission's activities. It is a short and easy way to keep tabs on key happenings. We invite you to subscribe to future issues and to explore the archive of previous issues.

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November 21, 2017

Celebrating Thanksgiving during WWI

Grocer 1917

For Americans, Thanksgiving is a special annual event, one full of tradition and memories. And the celebration marks the official start of the holiday season. How Thanksgiving was celebrated 100 years ago in in 1917 is both familiar, with family reunions, grocery shopping, large meals and thankfulness, and very different, as there are many things that have definitely changed since 1917. Changes include everything from different cooking styles to improved transportation technologies, but the most important change is that Thanksgiving 1917 took place in the midst of the official American involvement in World War I (1917-1918). Jennifer Crooks of the Thurston TALK web site in Washington State takes a look at how the city of Olympia held its Thanksgiving celebration in 1917, in the midst of mobilization.

The last remaining U.S. battleship to have served in both World War I and II is in danger


USS Texas

Things are not going well for our friends who care for the WWI-era Navy Battleship. They need our help. The museum ship, located at La Porte, TX, discovered a significant hull leak earlier this year, which create a list to the ship. They tried to patch the leak, but found that the hull structure was seriously compromised, and would require extensive repair work. The team recently started a Petition to the Texas state government to provide funds to save the ship.  We connected with the team from the Battleship Texas State Historic Site, and talked to Stephanie Croatt, Assistant Superintendent, and to Andy Smith, the Ship Manager, about their efforts.

Traditional ways of working get a technological boost in creation of the national WWI Memorial sculpture


Sabin Howard, sculptor of the National World War One Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC, discusses in a recent blog post about how two long journeys -- one to a 19th Century sculpture studio in Italy, and another to a 21st Century modeling facility in New Zealand -- led him to connect and leverage key technologies of two very different ages to help translate his sculpture design into three dimensions. Read the absorbing story of art, invention, and insight here. 

Pow-wow honors Wisconsin World War I Native American vets, Red Arrow division


About 200 people gathered on Veterans Day to commemorate 28 Ho-Chunk men – known as Winnebago Indians in 1917 — from the area surrounding Volk Field National Guard training base in Wisconsin who joined the Wisconsin National Guard 100 years ago for the “Great War” in Europe. The families of these warriors — known as Descendants of Red Arrow — have met at Volk Field since 1977 to celebrate their service, their memory, and the 32nd “Red Arrow” Division, which continues today as the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, headquartered perhaps a mile from the hangar hosting the annual pow-wow. Read about more about the ceremony and  its World War One origins here.

History professor tells of difficulties African-Americans faced in WWI service


On Tuesday, November 14, Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, a military historian and history professor at UW-Eau Claire, presented on African-American service in World War I. Ducksworth-Lawton told stories of the difficulties African-Americans faced before the U.S. entered World War I, the environments the soldiers were put under during their time of service and how they were treated when they returned home. The audience included college students, professors and a Korean War veteran who shared his own war experience with African-Americans. Read more about this WWI historical presentation.

Montana's female WWI Veterans are recognized by the U.S. Senate


Ed Saunders, an Army veteran from Montana who spent six years finding the stories of many of the state's female WWI veterans and chronicling their service,was instrumental in the dedication of a new memorial plaque for the servicewomen in 1917. Continuing his efforts to get the Montana women the the long-overdue recognition they earned and deserve, Saunders requested that Montana U.S. Senator Jon Tester read into the Senate Congressional Record a commendation for Montana and America's women veterans of World War One. Read more about how Saunders' senatorial salute efforts succeeded here.

Historic WWI DH4 aircraft will fly again


Nearly 100 years after the end of World War I, a team of aviation enthusiasts in Kentucky is hard at work restoring the first warplane built in America — the Dayton-Wright DH4. "Not many people know about World War I," said Dorian Walker, a member of the Saving Liberty DH4 group. "That doesn't mean it's any less important." Walker and the group members hope to remind the public of that importance by restoring the DH4 in time for test flights by next spring with plans for airshows across the country and a trip to France. "It gives you a chance to witness something firsthand," he said, adding the historic, wooden biplane is a symbol for how far American aviation has come in 100 years. Read more about the ongoing efforts to get the Liberty Plane flying again here.

WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo

The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it's about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration.  

Available on our web site, iTunes, Google Play, and TuneIn.


Episode 46


  • The Suffragists in WWI @ | 01:20
  • The Battle of Passchendaele ends - Mike Shuster @ | 11:45
  • Ceremonial Groundbreaking episode announced @ | 16:30
  • Meet the designer of the National WWI Memorial - Joseph Weishaar @ | 17:30
  • Speaking WWI - “Snapshot” @ | 24:45
  • 100C/100M in Jackson, MO - Lawson Burgfeld @ | 26:50
  • “Travels with Darley” on the Western Front - Darley Newman @ | 33:25
  • Native American Story of Service - Nick Brokeshoulder @ | 39:00
  • The Buzz - Katherine Akey @ | 48:50


Wwrite Blog Post This Week

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WWI. Russia. What do we really know? 

This week's WWrite post by Michael Carson is "Russian Occupation of Persia, the October Revolution: Viktor Shklovsky’s Memoirs"

The post opens a door to this question by discussing the memoirs of Russian WWI soldier and writer, Viktor Shklovsky. Carson explores several pivotal questions about Shklovsky's writing and its relevance to the Centennial: why read Shklovsky’s Sentimental Journey: Memoirs, 1917-1922 a hundred years after the First World War? Why remember this account of the October Revolution and the Russian occupation of Persia when we have forgotten so many other accounts of the First World War? What does this young Russian commissar have for us today except for yet another account of yet another endless bloody war that few remember now? Don't miss this riveting introduction to an important voice from WWI's Russian perspective.

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise


White Ceramic Mug

Availability: 2-3 Days


Hot cocoa, steaming team, strong Java, a Hot Toddy - they all need a home! So order a full set of these mugs in honor of the Centennial of the War that Changed the World! 

They feature the iconic Doughboy silhouette flanked by barbed wire so prevalent during WWI, you can enjoy your favorite beverage in this 15-ounce ceramic mug, help us build America's WWI Memorial in Washington DC and honor the sacrifices made by U.S. soldiers all at the same time.

A sante!

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.

Take advantage of the
Matching Donation by the
Pritzker Military Museum and Library

Double Your Donation - Soldiers

Andrew A. Capets

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of



Submitted by: Andrew J. Capets {grandson}



How do you write a 'Story of Service' about a young Doughboy and make it stand out among the millions of men and women who served in the Great War? Do you tell the story about this Private being so cold during a night in France that he had to sleep on top of a manure pile just to keep warm? Do you talk about his pride after returning home from the war, and that he routinely attended Battalion reunions in Erie, PA to commemorate his service with friends?

The answer is yes, you document as much as you know, and write down any story you were told to ensure that the experiences of this young Doughboy will be known 100 years from now.

I went a whole lot farther and released a book in September 2017 called "Good War, Great Men. The 313th Machine Gun Battalion of World War I." The book was written for the same reason this portion of the WW1CC website was created, "The stories of the service of all these Americans should not be forgotten." I wrote the book to commemorate my grandfather's service during the Great War, as well as wanting to help other family members that have descendants of the 313th Machine Gun Battalion read about their own soldier's experiences through the writings of over a dozen men that served together in World War I.

Read Andrew A. Capets's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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November 14, 2017


Commission hosts Ceremonial Groundbreaking for WWI Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC

Speakrs Four

The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking for America's World War I Memorial on Thursday, November 9, 2017 at the memorial's site, Pershing Park.

Among the featured speakers for the event (at right, top to bottom) were U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, and Centennial Commission Chair Terry Hamby.

For the ceremonial groundbreaking, the keynote speakers used presentation-shovels to turn soil that came to the ceremony from the Meuse-Argonne battlefield in France. Meuse-Argonne was the site of the largest military battle in the history of the United States military, and involved over one million service members. 26,000 Americans were lost in the battle.

The Centennial Commission used the event to announce that they had received leadership gifts from two of America’s leading veteran service organizations, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Each of the organizations made donations in the amount of $300,000, to be used for the creation of the new national-level memorial.

The groundbreaking ceremony received broad coverage nationally, internationally, and locally in Washington, DC media.

Sandra Pershing

Sandra Sinclair Pershing, the granddaughter-in-law of General John Pershing, who led the American Expeditionary Force to Europe in World War One, penned an eloquent guest opinion piece in The Hill newspaper, noting that "It would be inconceivable to Gen. Jack Pershing that a century ago he would be told the men under his command would not have a memorial to their sacrifice in the nation's capital when the centennial of that conflict would finally arrive."

Read more articles about the groundbreaking ceremony here.

Outdoor exhibit of striking images of WWI battlefields at Pershing Park until December 8


Fields of Battle

The experience of American soldiers in the Great War is documented in a free outdoor special centennial exhibition, Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys, 1917-1918, which debuted Wednesday in Washington DC's Pershing Park. The exhibition features the incredible contemporary photographs of Michael St Maur Sheil, depicting the battlefields of the Western Front where the Doughboys fought. The exhibition, co-curated by the National World War I Museum in Kansas City, opened in conjunction with the ceremonial groundbreaking for America's World War I Memorial. Read more about this amazing WWI battlefield photo exhibition here.

"Belgium will never forget the sacrifices made by American soldiers"

Belgian unit

The Embassy of Belgium has a remarkable new World War I exhibit that has been traveling across the United States. It tells a unique story of a unique military unit, that had adventures unlike any other, during the World War I period. The Expeditionary Corps of Armored Cars (often called ACM) was a military division formed by Belgian volunteers during WWI. It was sent to Russia at the request of the Tsar to fight the German Army on the Eastern front and distinguished itself in battle in Galicia in 1915. After the Bolshevik revolution, the ACM corps found itself in hostile territory and reached the US through Siberia and China. The exhibition consists in 19 banners (4 dedicated exclusively to their journey in the USA). We caught up with two members of the Belgian Embassy staff, who worked with the exhibit -- Gaëlle Powis de Tenbossche, and Carl Vander Maelen. They took a few moments to tell us all about it.

Trains and Traction restoration of historic World War I American Rail Cars in France


An amazing group of people in France have been working on an amazing project to remember the American troops who helped France 100 years ago. Calling themselves Trains and Traction, they are railway enthusiasts who have spent countless hours restoring an original American Army World War I-era railway boxcar, for eventual display & exhibit. The rail car was left behind in France, and was a ruin when discovered by the group a few years ago. Olivier Jaubert (shown at left working on a boxcar) is the Director of Heritage for the Trains and Traction Foundation, and he told us about his team, and what they have done.

Delaware honors its WWI Servicemen with new Memorial at State Capitol

Governor John Carney

One hundred years after America’s entry in the Great War, just to the south of Delaware’s Legislative Hall where the General Assembly meets, stands the nation’s most recent WWI monument, commemorating The First State’s citizens who served in the United States Armed Forces in the conflict. A two-year effort produced the stately granite monument which was unveiled on a cool November 4th before Governor John Carney, other elected officials, residents and visitors. Read more about the Delaware monument and the dedication ceremony here.

WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo

The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it's about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration.  

Available on our web site, iTunes, Google Play, and TuneIn

POWs in WW1

Episode 45

POWs in WW1 | @01:30

The war on the eastern front is over - Mike Shuster | @11:15

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - Gavin McIlvenna | @15:50

Speaking WW1 “Dingbat” | @22:40

100C/100M, Wheaton IL - Nancy Flannery & Rob Sperl | @24:15

The Millionaire’s Unit - Dr. Marc Wortman | @30:50

North Dakota WW1 Centennial Committee - Darrell Dorgan | @38:00

Warrior in Khaki - Native American Warriors - Michael and Ann Knudson | @44:15

WWrite Blog - Pierre Lemaitre’s, The Great Swindle | @51:20

The Buzz - Native American History Month | @52:25

Wwrite Blog Post This Week

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WWrite Blog Twitter Feed Launched!

Stay up to date with the latest writerly WWI posts and events!

Today, WWrite launched its Twitter Feed that will be linked to the blog. These Tweets will replace the weekend updates and will appear regularly. The Twitter account is just getting off the ground and will continue to evolve and improve over the coming months. We will also be working to link it to all relavent information on the WWI site. All suggestions welcome at Please find us at: @orthveillon, #WWrite 

For more details see this week's post in the WWrite Blog.

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Fleece sweatshirt

Navy Fleece Sweatshirt: $46.00

Head into the Holiday season and gatherings with the family, warm, snug and totally commemorative! This fleece sweatshirt top is not only comfortable, but also features the Centennial Doughboy Icon.

Sweatshirt features: Navy with white doughboy embroidery. 80% cotton/20% polyester,  9.5 Oz. High quality heavy weight pre-shrunk fabric. Sweatshirt has ¼ zip pullover with cadet collar and silver metal zipper. Ribbed cuffs and waistband with spandex. Cover-seamed arm holes. Mens’ sizes available M – 2XL (Small and XL are currently sold out)

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.

Take advantage of the
Matching Donation by the
Pritzker Military Museum and Library

Double Your Donation - Soldiers

Harry Shankman

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of

Harry Shankman


Submitted by: Ronald Miller



Harry Shankman served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 1917/1919.

Harry Shankman’s W.W.I. Service History

PFC Harry Shankman: Private First Class, E-2, Service #1390206

Member of Company "L" (4th Platoon) . . . of the 3rd Battalion . . . Of the 132 Infantry Regiment . . . of the 66th Brigade . . . of the 33rd "Prairie" Division.

The 33 DIVISION (The Prairie Division) was comprised of the troops from the Illinois National Guard. They trained at Camp Logan, TX then sailed for France in May 1918. The 33rd served with the Australians at the Amines sector, and was represented by units at Verdun and at the Meuse-Argonne. As a division, the 33rd Division spent 27 days in active sectors and 32 days in quiet sectors. It captured 3,987 prisoners-a record for a National Guard Division - and advanced 36 km (22 miles) against the enemy while sustaining 989 battle deaths & 6,266 wounded. 

Most combat operations were either about 70 miles north of Paris, or about 135 east of Paris.

Read Harry Shankman's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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November 7, 2017

National World War I Memorial ceremonial groundbreaking set November 9 in D.C.


After years of extensive research, planning and coordination with state, federal, military and international governments, supporters of the National World War I Memorial will break ground for the site just prior to Veterans Day on Nov. 9 at 11 a.m. at Pershing Park in Washington, D.C. The program will serve as an opportunity to thank partners and supporters who have helped turn a historic vision into reality. Unique to the event, the symbolic groundbreaking ceremony will include soil brought from French battlefields signifying the allied service and sacrifice of those who fought for the common cause of freedom. VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin is scheduled to be among the featured speakers.
The event will be live streamed via Facebook Live at
Find out more about the ceremonial groundbreaking by clicking here. You can help build the Memorial by clicking here.

North Dakota web site goes live

North Dakota web site menu

Welcome North Dakota! The North Dakota World War One Centennial website is now live at At the new “North Dakota in World War I” web site you will find stories on ND centennial events and activities, articles about North Dakotans Who Served, scholarly Research Articles and Documents, and an event calendar. There is also a map of the state’s World War One monuments, memorials, and historic sites. The ND development team will be joining us on the WW1 Centennial News Podcast show on Wednesday, November 8 to tell you more about their state program. We invite you to register for the WW1 Centennial News live show. North Dakota joins a growing number of state sites hosted by the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission. Click here to see the other states’ web sites.

WWI Centennial will be featured in 2017 NYC Veterans Day Parade, other activities

NYV Vets Day Parade

The  United War Veterans Council in NYC is hosting activities on and around Veterans Day, including the New York City Veterans Day Parade (formerly America’s Parade) on November 11th, as well as activities that take place during Veterans Week NYC, November 4th-11th. The Veterans Day parade will feature100+ WWI re-enactors marching, and can be seen live nationwide on a variety of streaming platforms, as well as on local television in NYC. Find out more about the big Veterans Day events going on in the Big Apple here.

New exhibit at the Woodrow Wilson House: The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay

Mallows Bay

Partially submerged in the middle of the Potomac River, in Mallows Bay, lies the largest shipwreck fleet in the Western Hemisphere. More than 200 shipwrecks, the majority of which date to World War I, represent a haunting legacy of the Great War. In April 1917, President Woodrow Wilson approved the greatest shipbuilding program in history: an order for 1,000 ships to make up the shortage of transport vessels needed for the war effort. The war ended before any ships were put into service and hundreds were simply scrapped in the Bay. To celebrate its legacy, the Woodrow Wilson House in Washington DC presents a new museum exhibit that explores the Ghost Fleet’s fascinating—and scandalous—history.

Also we invite you to listen to the interview with Steve Bunker & Carrie Villar about The Ghost Fleet and Mallows Bay on this recent WW1 Centennial News Podcast @07:35

Commissioner Hamby at Indiana events to honor Corporal Gresham, Veterans Day


A number of events took place in Indiana last week, to mark the approach of Veterans Day, and to honor the centenary of the first U.S. Army soldier killed in combat during World War I. That first soldier, Corporal James Bethel Gresham, hailed from the town of Evansville Indiana, and was lost on November 3rd, 1917. Commission Chair Terry Hamby represented the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission at a wreath-laying ceremony for Gresham, and also helped the Indiana Military Museum add a piece extremely rare WWI equipment to its collection.  Read about both Indiana events (and a surprise that Kentuckian Hamby received in the Hoosier State) here.

Returning American soldiers faced a sobering reality in 1919: Prohibition


The global impact of the Great War reverberated throughout world history. Millions of lives were changed in four years, putting nations on radically different paths. In the United States, the war fundamentally shifted how the nation viewed itself in global affairs and how it behaved at home. As industries and the federal government prepared for conflict, a social movement that brewed for nearly eighty years saw the golden opportunity to achieve its ultimate goal: the national prohibition of alcohol. The Great War itself wasn’t the only contributing factor to the 18th amendment’s passage, but the timing was critical. Read the National Archives and Records Administration analysis of the nexus that occurred here.

Web Site Features -- The WWrite Blog

Wwrite Blog Logo

This week's post looks at Pierre Lemaître's The Great Swindle: A Prize-Winning WWI Novel Hits the Screen During France's Great War Centennial

"The Great Swindle", sounds strange among familiar WWI books like The Return of the Soldier, by Rebecca West, A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway, or All is Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. But, yes, this book is not only about a post-war traumatic experience; it is also about the art, and, yes, the money that could be made by making a business out of the millions of dead bodies that had a hard time finding a proper grave after the combat ended.

Read this fascinating article in the WWrite Blog.

WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo

The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it's about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration. 


Available on our web site, iTunes, Google Play, and TuneIn.

German submarines drove the WWI naval strategy in the Atlantic

Episode 44

The US naval war of 1917 | @01:10

The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay with Steve Bunker & Carrie Villar | @07:35 

Living in NYC? Did a “Slacker” live in your apartment 100 years ago?  | @14:55

The Balfour Declaration - Promise of a Jewish Homeland in Palestine with Mike Shuster | @17:15

The worldwide history of Veterans Day | @22:05

Ceremonial Groundbreaking for America’s WWI Memorial in Washington DC | @24:10

Veterans Day Events | @24:30

Speaking WWI…  “Scrounge” | @28:00

100C/100M in Riverside IL with Joseph Baar Topinka | @29:30

International Report - Notre Dame Projection spectacular and documentary premiere | @36:20

Falling back to Daylight Standard Time - Blame the Kaiser | @37:35

The Buzz in Social Media | @39:35 

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Victory Pin

U.S. Victory lapel pin: $4.95

This is a great gift item and even better conversation starter about WWI, what it was, what it meant and why it matters.

Soldiers received Victory buttons upon their discharge from service in “the War that changed the world”. 

This always popular hand cast in jeweler’s alloy and hand finished in a satin bronze patina, the design features the star, symbolizing victory, honor and glory; a wreath of evergreen laurel leaves symbolizing triumph over death; and the U.S. insignia, clearly identifying the country served.

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.

Take advantage of the
Matching Donation by the
Pritzker Military Museum and Library

Double Your Donation - Soldiers

Gilbert W. Zeits 

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of

Gilbert Zeits


Submitted by: Carol Hylton



Gilbert W. Zeits served in World War 1 with the the United States Army . The dates of service are: Known March 21,1918 to May 20th, 1919 .

Gilbert's mother, an immigrant from Bohemia, had 7 sons, four of whom fought in the first World War. Three sons were in the Army and one in the Navy. They all lived in Traverse City, Michigan.

The eldest brother, Alfred Zeits was killed and is buried in France. He served with the 11th Machine Gun Battalion. 

Gilbert served from March 21,1918 to May 20th, 1919 and was able to visit the battlefields and places they stayed in France in 1981 with his surviving daughter. He took part in the battles of Argonne Forest and St. Mihiel.

Read Gilbert W. Zeits's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here. 

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October 31, 2017

Ceremonial Memorial groundbreaking Nov. 9 to live-stream on Commission Facebook page 


The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission will host a ceremonial groundbreaking for America's World War I Memorial on Thursday, November 9, 2017, 11:00 am EST, at Pershing Park in Washington, DC. It will be available for viewing via a live-stream on the Centennial Commission's Facebook page at

The Honorable David J. Shulkin, 9th United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Guests of Honor will include The Honorable David J. Shulkin, 9th United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs (right), senior military & veteran leaders, as well as Centennial Commission members, members of the historical/cultural community, U.S. and city officials, and major donors. U.S. Military Academy Cadets, the Pershing Rifles Group, and the US Army Band's "Pershing's Own" Brass Quintet are also expected to participate. Read more about the ceremony here.

Veterans History Project schedules WWI special programs for Veterans Day 2017


The Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project (VHP) will celebrate Veterans Day, between Nov. 7 to Nov. 11, with live book talks and a variety of performances, guided tours, workshops and other activities. The series of events, titled “Coming Home: Veterans Day at the Library of Congress,” will take place in the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library. From a letter-writing event for active-duty service personnel to examining objects a World War I soldier needed, these activities intend to honor and recognize veterans and their families and explore the ways military men and women have connected to home and family during and after service from World War I, Vietnam and the current conflicts. Read more about the program here.

"He was just a boy who marched away to serve and die for our country, in the war that is often forgotten."

Carl's Story

On November 10, 2008, the eve of the 90th Armistice Day, Noretta Willig's phone rang. A genealogist from Oregon working for the US Army identified her as the next of kin of her uncle, Carl Willig, who had been killed, but his body lost, in 1918 during the battle of St. Mihiel. Now, thanks to a fortuitious discovery in an isolated wood in France, Carl had been found. "From that second," says Noretta, "I was compelled -- I would even say driven – to write Carl’s Story." This thoughtful book, written as a Commemorative Partner of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, tells the compelling story of how "Through a long and extraordinary series of coincidences, described in the book, Carl was found and identified. Then, after almost a century, Carl came home. Home at last." Read more here about the making of the book, the people and organization who helped bring Carl home again, and the powerful effect this journey had on the author herself.

War Horses 103 years on: Horse Heroes WWI memorial fund nears $1 million

Brooke USA

Some 103 years ago this month, the first of America’s horses and mules exported to join the World War One war effort in Europe left their homes. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the US entering WW1, and Brooke USA’s Horse Heroes campaign has raised nearly $900,000 of its million-dollar goal to honor the memory of those horses by raising funds to improve the welfare of working equines around the world. Brooke USA, an official Commemorative Partner of the United States World War I Centennial Commission, is raising one dollar in memory of each of America’s horses and mules who served in World War I. Read more about Brooke USA and the Horse Heroes campaign here.

North Carolina scholar decoded German World War I secret correspondence

Charles Jastrow Mendelsohn

Not every North Carolinian who served in the armed forces during the First World War carried a gun on the battlefields of France. Some were administrators. Others served as nurses, artists, naval officers, and chaplains. At least one NC person served as a cryptographer—someone who specializes in encrypting and decrypting sensitive information—during the war period: Wilmington native Charles Jastrow Mendelsohn. The entirety of his year-long military term was spent stateside at posts in Washington D.C. and New York City where Mendelsohn led at team tasked with decrypting intercepted German diplomatic correspondence. Read more here about how a professor of ancient languages at the City College of New York helped the U.S. read the enemy's mail during WWI.

National WWI Museum event looks at Great War's resistance and impact

Dora Maendal of Fairholme (Man.) Hutterite Colony

While many events have honored heroism and sacrifice during World War I, a different kind of conference gathered in an unlikely place to pay tribute to those who opposed the Great War a century ago. “Remembering Muted Voices: Conscience, Dissent, Resistance and Civil Liberties in World War I Through Today” took place Oct. 19-22 at the National World War I Museum and Memorial. Museum president and CEO Matthew Naylor said the work of interpreting the First World War and its impact isn’t just to glorify heroism and sacrifice but to reveal the catastrophe of spilled blood. Historic peace churches were well-represented at the conference, which included 70 academic paper presentations and was attended by about 250 participants. Read more about the proceedings of this important event here.

The world forgot a 402-foot-long painting. Here's what happened when it was found.

Pantheon de la Guerre

Shortly after World War I broke out in 1914, two French artists could already predict that the conflict would take place on a scale unlike anything ever seen, so would demand a tribute on an equally unprecedented scale. More than 100 French artists — mostly older men who were not able to fight themselves — worked on Panthéon de la Guerre, the painting measuring a whopping 402 feet around and 45 feet tall. Depicting some 6,000 heroes of the Allied war effort, it was billed as the world's largest painting, and toured the world. But it wound up by 1940 sitting in a crate outside a Baltimore warehouse, wet, forgotten, and forlorn. Read more here about how the monumental work was rescued, refurbished, and found a permanent, dry home at the National World War I Museum.

Website Features -- the Official Bulletin

Official Bulletin

From 1917 to 1919, the Official Bulletin released daily reports on the war from the Committee on Public Information. The Committee on Public Information -- also known as the CPI -- was established by President Woodrow Wilson in order to engender positive national support for the war. The CPI was responsible for movies, posters, the Official Bulletin, cards, buttons, cartoons and more. Legendary Public Relations man George Creel was the Chairman of the CPI. Creel ensured that only the best news was broadcast and transferred across every medium. The goal of the CPI was to make sure that every American was absorbing the propaganda and pushing national favor towards the war effort.  Every day except Sunday, the World War One Centennial Commission web site re-publishes the Official Bulletin on the centennial of that issue's original publication date. Check out the Official Bulletin here.

WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo

The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it's about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration.  

Available on our web site, iTunes, Google Play, and TuneIn.

1st. Division begin the move to the front - still fresh faced and innocent

Episode 43

US troops quietly begin deployment to the western front | @01:15

British troops near mutiny - Mike Shuster | @06:55

Zeppelin L-49 captured intact - War in The Sky | @10:50

Announcing Ceremonial groundbreaking for America’s WWI Memorial in Washington DC -Facebook Live stream coming | @15:30

All about America’s WWI Memorial in DC - Edwin Fountain | @16:15

Junior Master Gardener Poppy Program update - Lisa Whittlesey | @24:10

Speaking WWI - the word is Nark! | @29:35

100C/100M project profile - Borough of Danville, PA - Jamie Shrawder | @31:00

International Caparetto, Kobarid and Karfreit - Commemoration | @36:10

First three American combat casualties - from 16th infantry | @37:35

The Franco-American links - US Centennial Commissioner Seifried | @39 :00 

About Aline Kilmer’s poetry - Peter Molin on WWRITE blog | @39:35

Buzz on Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome and selection of the Unknown Soldier | @40:45 

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

fleece vest

Black Full Zip Fleece Vest - $39.95

It's fall! There is a chill in the air. The leaves are turning. The days are getting shorter. The smell of wood fires is wafting around. Yup... It's time to cozy up with this warm fleece vest.

The vest features a Black with white doughboy embroidery. 100% spun polyester, 12.5 Oz. Premium anti-piling fleece. 

It has full zip front with two side seam pockets. Mens’ sizes available S – 2XL.

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.

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Henry Zeller

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of

Henry Zeller


Submitted by: Wanda Zeller Peterson {granddaughter}



Henry Zeller served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known August 28, 1918 to January 27, 1919..

My Grandfather Henry Zeller was in the United States Army, his service number (SN) was: 4 706 169. 

His dates of service: He was inducted at Carson, ND on August 28, 1918 and sent to Camp Lewis, WA. He served in the 166th Depot Brigade to September 6, 1918; Company H, 76th Infantry to discharge on January 27, 1919 at Camp Lewis, WA. He was only in for 5 months. He was a Private First Class.

He was born in the United States of parents who were Germans from Russia. He was very proud of his German Heritage and very proud to have served in the US Army. Decorations and Awards per the National Archives and Records Administration: WWI Victory Medal and WWI Victory Button (Bronze).

Read Henry Zeller's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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Dispatch header 800 - 061217

October 24, 2017

"To honor our Regiment’s fallen and remember all soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice"

Stephen Clay

On 3 November 1917, Corporal James Gresham, and Privates Thomas Enright and Merle Hay, were killed in action during a German trench raid near the little village of Bathelémont, France. These soldiers -- all members of F Company, 16th Infantry -- were the first three American soldiers killed in combat in World War I. The 16th Infantry Regiment Association will honor Gresham with the dedication of a plaque at his mother’s home in Evansville, Indiana, at 10:00 am, on 3 November 2017.  We spoke to the Association's President, Steven E. Clay, about about the First Three and the remembrance of all the 16th Infantry's soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

"Involve the young generations to perpetuate the French-American legacy" 


Earlier this month, the city of Versailles France rededicated a pair of major memorial statues in their city -- one to WWI American General John Pershing, and the other to American Revolutionary War hero, the Marquis de La Fayette. These statues were conceived and started after the close of World War I, as a thank-you and remembrance of the fraternity between the U.S. and France. However, the peace after World War I was imperfect, and the permanent statues were not completed -- until this month. Our Commissioner Monique Seefried attended the re-dedication ceremony at Versailles, and she talked to us from France about the event, the statues, and what they mean.

"The relief and story that I’ve created are a visual poetry of World War 1"

Memorial relief detail

Sculptor Sabin Howard has published an absorbing meditation on art, his own art, and the evolution of the design for the new National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC. Through a series of personal vignettes, Howard details the intertwining of classical and historical themes and technology from which the Memorial bas-relief sculpture is emerging. Read all about Howard's personal journey toward "creating a sacred art of re-humanization" as he "left behind that realm of esoteric creation and moved into the realm of artistic creation that is in service of many."

U.S. Marshals during World War I: Protection of the Home Front from enemy aliens, spies, saboteurs, and slackers

U.S. Marshal badge

When President Woodrow Wilson issued the declaration of war against Germany April 6, 1917, he told the American people that "the supreme test of the nation has come. We must all speak, act, and serve together." While American troops fought in the trenches of Europe, United States Marshals protected the home front against enemy aliens, spies, saboteurs, and slackers. Read more about the responsibilities and activities of U.S. Marshals during World War I here.

Fake News and fervent nationalism got a Senator tarred as a traitor during WWI

Robert "Fightin' Bob" La Follette

Robert "Fightin' Bob" La Follette was one of the most hated men in America when he took the U.S. Senate floor on October 6, 1917. Vicious caricatures depicted the Wisconsin senator receiving the German Iron Cross medal and holding a German spiked helmet. Theodore Roosevelt, La Follette’s old rival in the Progressive movement, called La Follette “the most sinister foe of democracy in this country” and told an audience that he wished “we could make him a gift to the Kaiser for use in his Reichstag.” His transgression? Opposing the United States’ entry into World War I. Read the entire La Follette story here.

Tarred and feathered: The tragic plight of Germans in America during World War I

German-American Farmer John Meints

As Europe was ravaged by fighting in World War I, German immigrants in the US suffered harassment, internment, lynchings - and even the humiliation of being tarred and feathered. Although a little-remembered part of history today, America was completely wracked by the fear and paranoia that swept from coast to coast during the Great War. The United States declared war on Germany in April 1917 and helped lead the Allies to victory. But before victory came, many Americans were terrified of the potential home-grown German threat .A fascinating collection of photos have resurfaced showing the hardships faced by German-Americans at the brutal height of the First World War. Read the entire Daily Mail article about the plight of Germans in the U.S.

Website Features -- WWI Video Library

Video Library


Do you like learning about World War I in new and exciting ways? If you said yes, then it’s time to check out! The Video Library on the World War One Centennial Commission Website is a collection of videos created by the Commission and produced by other organizations.  The videos vary in length but all of the videos provide interesting facts and figures about the Great War. Many of the videos provide information about the Commission and the forthcoming World War I Memorial in Pershing Park. Other videos serve as educational tools that trace the events during and people of World War I.   One of the videos to check out is a commemorative ceremony in Kansas City from April 2017. The moving ceremony uses music, anecdotes, and narrations to show how the Great War sparked “The American Century.”  Another video to explore is a presentation called the “Impact on the Nursing Profession.” In this video, several Army Medical Historians discuss the how World War I generated an incredible growth in the number of nurses. This video even includes some incredible World War I photography!   There are many different videos to watch in the Video Library. Visit to discover and learn about World War I today.  

WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

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The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it's about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration.   

Available on our web site, iTunes, Google Play, and TuneIn.

Those magnificent men and their flying machines

Episode 42

Trading With The Enemy Act |@01:15

Mata Hari is executes - Mike Shuster |@06:10

Little companies big ideas - War in the Sky |@09:50

Gilder Lehrman Institute program - Tim Bailey |@14:30

Speaking WWI: “Short Hairs” |@ 21:20

100 Cities / 100 Memorials genesis and future - Ken Clarke |@22:40

100 Cities / 100 Memorials profile - Memorial to US Air Service - Michael O’neal and Robert Kasprzak |@30:35

Kiwis Commemorate Passchendaele |@37:00

Michigan sign WWI Centennial Commission into law |@39:00

Madame Curie in WWI |@39:40

Wwrite Blog Post This Week

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Are war wives war poets, too? 

Can we consider those women who write about the contortions on domestic life and feminine sensibility wrought by war as veteran writers?

Author, veteran, and teacher, Peter Molin, explores the question this week in a post about poet Aline Murray Kilmer, wife of well-known American WWI poet, Joyce Kilmer, who was killed during the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918. 

Throughout Joyce's deployment and then after his death, the words of Aline's poetry, in ambiguous ways, convey the urgency and nuance of a war wife's uncertainty as she finds her tranquility and self-worth vexingly dependent on her husband, even in his permanent absence. 

Don't miss this rich, insightful post about the often-overlooked and, yes, war poet, Aline Kilmer!

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Liberty Bond Poster

“Liberty Bond Poster"  Buying it is your DUTY! $12.50

100 years ago this month, the Wilson Administration was in the midst of their second Liberty Bond Drive. 

By this week, a century ago, they had sold over $2 Billion of bonds - by convincing Americans that it was their DUTY to support the war effort through buying Liberty Bonds.

Well, we want to convince YOU that it is YOUR duty to support the commemoration of WWI by buying this liberty bond theme poster.

We don't need $2 billion - but we do need your help which you can do by buying really cool Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.


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Pritzker Military Museum and Library

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George Goody 

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of

George Goody


Submitted by: Jack Sherman {grandson}



George Goody served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 1910-1920. 

My grandfather joined the Army at 16 to avoid working in the woods of Maine. His father signed his papers but couldn't read and write English so was rather angry when he figured out what was happening.

George left Maine and ended up in troop I 6th Cav on the Texas Mexico border during the punitive expedition. Since he didn't read or write English he was never promoted in 6 years of service.

When we declared war on Germany and the Army needed French speakers grandpa George became a genius overnight since he could read, write and speak French just fine.

Read George Goody's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.

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