DISPATCH: November 7, 2017

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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 https://www.facebook.com/ww1centennial.
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 ww1cc.org/northdakota. 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 ww1cc.org

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.