DISPATCH: November 28, 2017

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November 28, 2017 

Zoe Dunning named to United States World War I Centennial Commission

Zoe Dunning

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has filled the empty seat on the United States World War One Centennial Commission with Commander Zoe Dunning, USN (Ret.) of San Francisco. Dunning fills the opening on the Commission created by the resignation of former Chair Robert Dalessandro earlier this year. Read more about newly-appointed Commissioner Dunning here.

"I so wanted to create a great design!"



Later today, in Philadelphia, the US Mint will host a ceremonial strike event for the new 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar. On hand, will be a distinguished group who were involved with the coin project, to include Congressional sponsors of the legislation that authorized the coin; Don Everhardt, legendary US Mint coin engraver; and Terry Hamby, the Chair of our WWI Centennial Commission. However, no one there for the big event will be more excited than Leroy Transfield - designer of the new coin. He is an experienced sculptor from New Zealand. His design was picked through an open international competition, hosted by the U.S. Mint, and this is his first coin for them. We talked to him about the coin, the inspiration, and his own personal ties to WWI.

Support America’s World War I Memorial while holiday shopping on AmazonSmile!

AmazonSmile button

The holiday shopping season is officially upon us. As you shop for friends, family, and loved ones this year, you have the opportunity to both shop and support America’s World War I Memorial at the same time through AmazonSmile, at no extra cost to you. Learn more about supporting the Memorial while you shop here.

Blinded Veterans UK & BVA/Project Gemini Exchange Visit to California

Blinded Veterans

A remarkable exchange-visit took place in Southern California last month, one with deep roots to World War I. Six blinded military veterans from the United Kingdom, with the organization Blind Veterans UK, spent a week meeting with six American veterans, who are members of the U.S.-based Blind Veterans Association (BVA), and who also have suffered war-related vision loss. Blind Veterans UK was founded in 1915 as a charity whose purpose was to train and support soldiers blinded in the First World War. Blind Veterans UK conducted training for blind UK service members, and later shared that training with U.S. service members when American Expeditionary Forces members required vision rehabilitation. Read more about a century of helping soldiers who lost eyesight in their nations' service here.

For the Doughboys: How to preserve World War I memorials in Illinois

Victory Memorial Chicago

An important editorial in the Chicago Tribune newspaper has put the spotlight on the plight of neglected World War One Memorials in the nation's third largest city and fifth largest state. The Editorial Board also mentioned both the new national World War One Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC, and the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials program. Kenneth Clarke, president and CEO of the Pritzker Military Museum, the Founding Sponsor of the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission,was featured in the editorial that urged attention to "this important opportunity at the centennial to reflect on the past and remember the sacrifices, even if the Doughboys are all gone." Check out the entire editorial here.

Pensacola State College students unveil WWI project at Navy aviation museum

Pensacola exhibit

Senior students at Pensacola State College in Florida, and staff members at the Naval Aviation Museum, worked together on a special exhibit that pays tribute to the 100th anniversary of the U.S.'s entry into World War I. Through creative designs and exhaustive research, the exhibit tells the stories of World War I, including early aviators, war rations and the Spanish Flu. The project was an eye-opener for the students, as they discovered "how World War I affected the entire world." Read more about the Pensacola exhibit here.

WWI centennial aim: a commemorative tree planted in all 75 Arkansas counties

Arkansas trees

Trees planted around the world a century ago served as living reminders of soldiers who died during World War I, part of a reforestation effort and a way to create distinct memorials. During the centennial observance of "The Great War," memorial tree programs are again underway, with the goal in Arkansas to plant a specific commemorative willow oak in each of the state's 75 counties. Read more about this statewide World War One Centennial program, and check out their progress 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.

From the  memorial design - podcast - ww1cn

Episode 47
Thanksgiving Fundraiser Special:

  • Web donations: ww1cc.org/donate
  • Text-to-give donations: Text “wwi” to 91999
  • Learn more: ww1cc.org/memorial
  • Being Thankful | @ 00:40
  • Mr. Terry Hamby, Chair of the WWI Centennial Commission | @ 04:00
  • The Honorable Ted Poe, Congressman | @ 10:10
  • The Honorable Emanuel Cleaver, Congressman | @ 14:30
  • General Mark A. Milley, 39th Chief of Staff of the Army | @ 18:00
  • Bob Vogel, director of the National Capital Region (NCR), National Park Service | @ 22:15
  • The Honorable David Shulkin, Secretary of Veterans Affairs | @ 27:05
  • Keith Harman, Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars | @ 30:10
  • Denise H. Rohan, National Commander, American Legion | @ 32:20
  • The Honorable Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington | @ 35:45
  • The Honorable Doug Lamborn, Congressman | @ 38:20
  • The Honorable Kevin Yoder, Congressman | @ 40:20

Wwrite Blog Post This Week

Wwrite Blog Logo

The ground breaks. 

As the new WWI Memorial materializes in D.C., it's fascinating to take a look at other war memorials and the narrative of their construction. 

Reading the "story" of the ways memorials are conceived plays an important role in the understanding of public, cultural memory. Delve into the subject this week with WWrite's blog post,"Forgetting to Remember: Making America's Great War Monumental Again," by WW1CC intern, Sarah Biegelsen. Don't miss this fascinating tour of some of America's interesting WWI monuments...and their stories.

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Key Chain

“Nothing Stops These Men” – Special WWI Keychain $9.95

This is one of the great little gems in our official commemoration merchandise. It is solid... weighty... substantial... looks great and (editors note) I have had one in my pocket for 15 months now and looks as good today as the day I started using it... to hold my keys and to start conversations about WWI.

This commemorative gem is under $10.00 and is a GREAT Holiday gift for friends, associates and family as a stocking stuffer. Buy several and give a little gift that will provide practical value to the recipient all year and a lifetime of commemoration as part of the proceeds go to build America's National Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington DC.

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

E. Reynold Thomas

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of ww1cc.org

E Reynold Thomas


Submitted by: Margaret Thomas Buchholz {daughter}



E. Reynold Thomas served in World War 1 with the United States Marine Corps. The dates of service are: Known jan 1918 to early 1920. 

My father, Corporal E. Reynold Thomas, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 4 November 1898. His maternal ancestors were Quaker and came to this country with William Penn.

He enlisted in the Marines (serial # 305258) just after his 19th birthday on 4 January 1918. He left Atlantic City High School a semester before he would have graduated 

Thomas revered his grandfather, J. Warner Kinsey, who had served in the Civil War, and when he was a boy scout went with him to a memorial reunion at Gettysburg (1905).

After basic training at Parris Island he was sent to France in April 1918, and was assigned to the 55th Company, 2d Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. He fought at Belleau Woods through the month of June and at Soissons 18 and 19 July.

It was after Belleau Woods that he wrote the letter to his mother telling how awful it was, “a living hell” – he was one of a small percentage of his battalion to survive. The battalion was at Les Mares Farm on 3 June where they stopped the Germans at the point closest to Paris the Germans would come in the war.

Read E. Reynold Thomas's entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family's Story of Service here.