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Sync Call for Wednesday January 27 at 12pm EST
Caption: "Badly damaged German battlecrusier Seydlitz steams to port after the Battle of Jutland."
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News at a Glance

1. Memorial Design Competition Winner: Joe Weishaar and "The Weight of Sacrifice"!


Read more below!


Help the WW1CC!

  1. Donate! Go to our donations page.
  2. Send us interns! Direct anyone you know who is interested to our Internship webpage.
  3. Help with state and regional organization! Let Andrew McGreal know and he will send you information on how to get involved.
  4. Shop at SMILE.AMAZON.COM! Enter the "United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars" as your charitable organization.
  5. Wear official WW1 commemorative merchandise with pride! Head over to the Commission shop for a full selection.

News and Announcements:

10th Commission Meeting

The 10th WWI Centennial Commission Meeting took place yesterday January 26 at 10 am. The blizzard did not stop Commissioners from traveling and we had a packed, standing room only meeting as the Jury’s design recommendation for the National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park was unveiled. The Commissioners voted in favor of Joseph Weishaar’s design, “The Weight of Sacrifice”.

Memorial Design Competition Winner Announcement on January 25

After the Commission Meeting, we hosted the Press Announcement for the winning design concept at 2pm at the National Press Club. This was another standing room only event thanks to our Director of Communications, Chris Isleib, we had dozens of media outlets covering our announcement to including local and network news channels and dozens of print reporters from the likes of ABC News, CBS News, the NY Times, the Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune to name a few. We also had a slew of volunteers, interns, friends and stakeholders on hand to witness the announcement.

Commissioner Libby O’Connell kicked off the event, before yielding the floor to Sandra Pershing, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, and finally Vice Chair of the Commission Edwin Fountain, who has led the memorial project from the start.

As iterated above, the chosen designer is Joe Weishaar, a 25 year-old architect in training. Joe is currently located in Chicago, IL, having earned his professional architecture degree at the University of Arkansas in 2013.We called Joe right after the Commission meeting to let him know the good news - he was shocked and humbled and accepted the news graciously. We look forward to working with him.

Visit ww1cc.org/winner to check out the Joe Weishaar's winning design concept, "The Weight of Sacrifice."

Please remember that even with this perfect design, we can’t build a memorial without donations. The Memorial is estimated to cost around $25 million and that figure will change depending on the winner. We can’t hope to complete the memorial by the centennial of Armistice Day if we don’t have enough money. We will need all that cash in hand before the end of 2017 to make that due date. Every dollar donated will be matched by our founding sponsor, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library.

You can make this memorial a reality by making a donating $11.11 today to the Memorial Fund. These veterans deserve a memorial. We can build it.

Updates from the States

Volunteer for state outreach. Contact Andrew McGreal if you are willing to help.

Collaboration Call
Next week on Thursday February 4, the State Outreach Team will host its monthly Collaboration Call. The focus of this call will be 'Archives and the Centennial' - how they can commemorate WW1 and how others can use them to commemorate the war. Our panelists will include Mitch Yockelson from the National Archives and Record Administration, Graham Neely from the Alabama State Archives, and a third to-be-determined panelists.

If you would like to be added to the Collaboration call roster, email Andrew McGreal.

WW1 Commemorative Merchandise

The WW1CC merchandise store is open on our website! Go online to get your own fine-crafted piece of WW1 commemorative merchandise and to support the Commission all at once. We have an exciting and varied line of products available for purchase - check it out today!

DISPATCH Newsletter

The Commission publishes a weekly newsletter, the DISPATCH. If you’re not receiving this and want to, sign up on our Commission Subscription webpage.


Shout Outs:

Thanks so much to all of our loyal friends and volunteers who helped out at the Press Conference:

  • Terry Walker
  • Marissa Cruz
  • Joe and Thelma MacDoniels
  • Frances Seghers
  • Jean Gossman

And to our brand new interns: Mike, Megan, Joslyn, Sam, and Jacob.

Thank you also to our friends and enthusiasts who stuck with us, through location and date changes, and braved the roads and airports to be there:

  • Rich Shaffer, friend and generous donor to the Commission
  • Kevin Upton and David Poe, from the Pershing Rifles Group
  • Mark Levitch

A special thank you to Mrs. Sandra Pershing, generous benefactor to the Commission.

Finally, Thank you to Congressman Cleaver, Congressman Poe, Congressman Yoder and all of their staffs - these gentlemen are known and active supporters of the Commission and the Memorial and without their support on the Hill we would not be where we are today.


The Great War Channel

Would you like to see some great videos on YouTube about WWI? Check out The Great War Channel. Posting multiple times a week, ‘The Great War’ shows you the history of the First World War in the four years from 1914 to 1918. The host, Indy, takes you back week by week and shows you what was going on in the past. Please subscribe to see these great posts. Their latest videos are:

The Entente On The Run : THE GREAT WAR WW1 Summary Part 4

Published on Jan 25, 2016. The end of the year 1915 and early 1916 don't look good for the Entente powers. Stalemate on the Western Front, no progress on the Eastern Front, Serbia overrun, defeat after defeat at the Isonzo, under siege at Kut, Gallipoli evacuated and even a new war zone in Libya. How would they turn the tide against the Central Powers?

What was the Food like at the Front? : OUT OF THE TRENCHES

Published on Jan 23, 2016. Indy sits in the chair of wisdom again to answer your questions. This time we tell you how the food was like in the trenches and what role Andorra and Iceland had in World War 1.

The Fight for Montenegro & The Disaster Of Kut : THE GREAT WAR Week 78

Published on Jan 21, 2016. The Russians try to take Czernowitz, the Capital of Austrian Bukovina but thousands upon thousands of Russians were killed in action. While in Montenegro, Austro-Hungarian troops under commander in chief Franz Conrad von Hotzendorf take control of the Balkan state of Montenegro. A relief force led by Lieutenant-General Fenton Aylmer had to return to base after a big loss against the Turks, while in South Cameroon, so the Germans retire into Spanish territory.


The Great War 100 Years Ago

Presented by Mr. Mike Hanlon - WorldWar1.com


Check out Mike Hanlon's thoughtful piece on the memorial design competition selection on his blog, Roads to the Great War.


The Great War 100 Years Ago: 1916 – Year of the Big Battles

1916 would feature four of the signature battles of the Great War.

Verdun during WW1

21 Feb - 18 Dec
-Longest Battle of the War, 300 Days
-Intended to reduce the French Army through attrition
-But it had the same effect on the German Forces
-3/4 Million casualties on both sides, about 300,000 killed

31 May - 1 June
-Largest naval battle of war and - along with Leyte Gulf - one of the two greatest surface engagements in history
-58 Dreadnoughts Engaged
-Royal Navy planners anticipated that such an action would be the new Trafalgar
-German forces inflicted more damage (14 ships sunk vs 11 by the British) but retreated to port and stayed there for the remainder of the war.

Rusian General Brusilov

The Brusilov Offensive
4 June - 20 September
-Partial breakthrough on Eastern Front, but the Russians suffered over 1,000,000 casualties in the offense
-The battlefield effects quickly dampened after minor adjustments to the frontlines.
-However, the morale impact was tremendous on all the participants.
-The Austrians, took the brunt of the initial assault.
-Germany had to transfer 35 divisions to the east to arrest the advance. Russian however was also greatly diminished by the effort contributing the the revolutions of 1917.

The SommeThe Somme battlefield, present day
1 July - 18 November
-Combined Anglo-French effort for a breakthrough on the Western Front
-Initial British tactics proved disastrous
-However, German response was just as disastrous they decided to give up no ground and counterattacked.
-Results the worst casualties of any battle of the Western Front, 1.2 million killed or wounded among British, French and German forces

What did these battles have in common?
-None of them worked out like the initiators hoped nor prewar strategists had thought such actions would proceed.
-Big breakthroughs almost impossible and not necessarily decisive; huge armies and reinforcement by allies dampens their effect.
-Attritional warfare seemed the only option
-But after the huge loses of 1916, military commands realized they were running out of men

At Sea:
-Battleships no longer decisive
-U-boat war increases in importance
-This would drag America into the war

1916's Fighting contributed to the national demoralization of all the participants.
-France: Army in mutiny by spring of 1917
-Britain: Longer curve, but the Somme would influence strategic thinking through WWII and even today.
-Russia: Home front discontent would lead to the revolutions of 1917.
-Germany: Army would gain further control of the war and the nation. Home front morale would crumble by late 1918 and the resulting revolution would make a settlement necessary.

Collectively, with a few additions like Passchendaele in 1917, these battles helped give the Great War its bad name.


See 1916 Recommended Reading List at www.worldwar1.com.

The History Place 1916.

Next Week: Conscription in Britain and the General Manpower Problem


Upcoming Events

If you have an agenda item to include, please email Andrew McGreal by the Monday before the next Sync Call.

If you have an event for our calendar, please submit it here.

For a listing of events and exhibits, please visit the Commission Events Page





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