World War I Centennial News


General of the Armies John Pershing Honored in Annual Veterans Day Ceremony

By Elizabeth Mathews
Staff Writer

Pershing ceremony Vets Day 2016 cropMembers of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and attendees wait to place wreaths during a memorial service for General of the Armies John J. Pershing in Arlington National Cemetery, Nov. 11, 2016, in Arlington, Va. (U.S. Army photo by Rachel Larue/Arlington National Cemetery)At 3’o clock on November 11, veterans carried on an annual Veteran’s Day tradition by gathering at the grave of America’s first General of the Armies, John J. “Black Jack” Pershing for a memorial service in his honor.

This ceremony was open to the public and attended by US servicemen and women as well as those from allied nations such as Canada. Also in attendance were members of the Young Marines.

Remarks were provided by such notable leaders as Kate Kelley, Acting Superintendent Arlington National Cemetery, Maj. Gen. Bradley A. Becker, commanding general, US Army Military District of Washington, and Col. (ret.) Clay Le Grande, Jr., commander in chief, MOWW. After the remarks, wreaths were laid at Pershing’s grave to honor both him and the men he commanded.

Pershing served in several conflicts over his 38 year career, though he is most remembered for his service as the Commander of the American Expeditionary Force in the Great War. Pershing not only led the United States to victory during the Great War, but also revolutionized the practices of the US Army. Under his leadership, the US Army updated its military training techniques, put more emphasis on physical fitness, and created professional schools for officers.

Two organizations founded by Pershing himself were heavily involved in the ceremony. The US Army Band “Pershing’s Own” provided the service with music, including one of Pershing’s personal favorite songs “My Buddy”.

The Military Order of the World Wars was the main organizer of the event, as it has been since the Veterans of World War I became too few to do so. The Military Order of the World Wars, or MOWW, was created at Pershing’s request after he expressed the desire for his officers to continue to serve their country after being released from active duty.

Read more: General Pershing Honored in Annual Veterans Day Ceremony

First-person shooter could spark wider interest in the Great War

Battlefield 1: Can a video game about WW1 be both entertaining and a history lesson?

By Jonathan Ore
via CBC News

How historically accurate should a video game be when depicting something like the First World War?

The conflict is one of the bloodiest in human history, having left 16 million dead and creating geopolitical conflicts that continue to this day.

battlefield 1 trenchesBattlefield 1 immerses players in the grit and unrelenting destruction of the First World War. (DICE/Electronic Arts) Game developers have long used history as their digital playground and tweaked the facts to suit their needs — adding some colourful characters here or a few more explosions there. Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series, set in periods such as the Italian Renaissance or Revolutionary France, is just one example.

The question is whether the studio DICE would do the same for Battlefield 1 (available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC), a first-person shooter set in what was (prematurely) called The War to End All Wars.

The opening prologue plunges the player into the middle of a major offensive in France in 1918, with the charred remains of buildings and trees strewn about a blasted wasteland of mud and corpses.

As a member of the Harlem Hellfighters, a real-life regiment that consisted largely of African-American soldiers, you have to defend an area from a German onslaught. Artillery rains from above and enemies with flamethrowers flood your position with fire and smoke.

After about two minutes — if you survive that long — you run out of ammo, and find yourself outnumbered. When you're inevitably gunned down, a short card with your soldier's name and lifespan appears on the screen — for example, "Matthew Collings (1884-1918)." Then you're placed in the role of another doomed recruit, in another part of the battlefield.

The point Battlefield 1 clearly wants to make is that the war took young soldiers' lives by the thousands — most of them never had the chance for a moment of glory.

Read more: Can a video game about WW I be both entertaining and a history lesson?

The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve comes to the fore

Waterhouse2The U.S. Marines in World War I Part I: The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Comes to the Fore is the first of a new a two-part series on the Marine Corps in the Great War by Colonel Walter G. Ford, USMC (Ret). The article documents the evolution, training, and contribution of the Marine Corps Reserve during the war, form early effort to establish state naval militias to the formation of the Marine Corps Reserve on August 29, 1916.

The timing of their establishment was critical to the exponential expansion of the Marine Corps in WWI. Even with the summer 1916 establishment of the Reserves, when war was declared on April 6, 1917 the Reserve had just 3 commissioned officers and 36 enlisted men to call for active duty. The U.S. Marine Corps had less than 14,000 men on active duty, with 1,091 Reserve and National Naval Volunteers available for mobilization. By mid-November of 1918, the Marine Corps had grown to more than 75,000 men and women on active duty -- 7,256 were members of the Reserve. While the Reserve represented not quite 10 percent of the Marine Corps at the end of the war, its growth in approximately 17 months was phenomenal.

According to Ford, Congressional action proceeding the U.S. entry into the war helped support growing manpower needs of the Navy and Marine Corps, and ultimately gave the president more authority to mobilize the U.S. Naval Militia.

“After members of the state militias and National Naval Volunteers were mustered into federal service, members of the Marine units were ordered to rendezvous sites and then dispatched to various naval stations,” according to Ford. “Upon arriving at these naval stations, the Marine Corps disbanded the units, and men were brought into the Marine Corps and sent to Marine installations to join units based on the needs of the Marine Corps.“  Continue reading the entire article here.

Nonprofit Fundraising for New World War One Memorial in Pershing Park

Howard interview 111016 NBC4 DCNBC4's Tom Sherwood (left) interviews sculptor Sabin Howard.Washington, DC−Washington, D.C.'s Pershing Park, named for the famed World War One general, may finally get a new memorial.

The nonprofit World War One Centennial Commission is currently working to secure $35 million in funding and D.C. officials’ approval to build a new memorial at the park on 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

“There's an element of sacredness that's being brought to the project because it becomes a memorial,” said Sabin Howard, who is part of the design team for the memorial.

Howard, a New York-based sculptor, worked in collaboration with 25-year-old architect Joseph Weishaar, of Chicago, to design the park. Their design, entitled “The Weight of Sacrifice,” was selected out of over 350 entries during a design competition in January.

“How are you going to tell the story of World War One in a way that people are going to get viscerally excited and go home and want to know more about it?” Howard said.

Read more: Nonprofit Fundraising for New World War I Memorial in Pershing Park

Point Park grad modeled nurse for World War One monument to debut in 2018

By Alice Carter
via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

 Andrea WeinzierlAndrea WeinzierlAndrea Weinzierl's latest job has put her on the path to immortality.

Weinzierl, a graduate of Avonworth High School and Point Park University, is an actress who divides her time between Manhattan, where she recently made her off-Broadway debut in the musical revival of “Funny Face,” and Pittsburgh, where she worked as a stand-in for Anna Torv for the upcoming Netflix series “Mindhunter.”

Like many young thespians, Weinzierl pays her bills by working at an eclectic list of jobs — fitness instructor, wedding singer, model.

So when a friend asked her to take over her nanny job temporarily, Weinzierl had no idea it might lead to something much more permanent.

The father of her young charge was Sabin Howard, an internationally recognized sculptor who, along with architect Joe Weishaar, had been chosen as the winning design team for the National World War I Memorial.

Titled “The Weight of Sacrifice,” the 80-foot-long bronze wall planned for Pershing Square Park in Washington, D.C., will feature 35 to 40 bas relief figures that honor the 4.7 million American men and women who served in the armed forces during World War I, as well as the many millions of civilians and military people who served during the conflict at home.

Read more: Point Park grad modeled nurse for World War I monument to debut in 2018


#COUNTDOWNTOVETERANSDAY update for November 7, 2016

Where will YOU be on Veterans Day?

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, U.S. World War One Centennial Commission

Veterans Day is coming -- Friday, November 11th is mere days away.

Veterans Day is a day for our nation to thank veterans for what they have done for us, and to thank military members for what they do for us every day.

As you know, we have been actively counting down to Veterans Day, though telling the stories of veterans issues, veterans contributions, and veterans needs. With our partners, we have been creating awareness of veterans among our collective audiences across the country with the hashtag #COUNTDOWNTOVETERANSDAY..

On Facebook, there have been some 1,540 #CountdownToVeteransDay postings from our partners and friends, creating 4,535,300 Audience Impressions.

On Twitter, our collective efforts have yielded some 2,266 Posts by 450 Partner Users, earning a total Audience of 4,898,500 Impressions.

Combined -- the #CountdownToVeteransDay campaign has, to date, generated an total audience of about 9,433,800 people!

We thank you for helping us to make people more aware of our veterans, and our military members!

Read more: #COUNTDOWNTOVETERANSDAY update 11072016

Four Questions for Rear Admiral James Carey

"Ensure the memories of these brave men do not fade into history"

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, U.S. World War One Centennial Commission

Rear Admiral James Carey has had a long career of public service, and is now in the process of working on memorial preservation projects. He talked to us about the importance of remembering the past, and the meaning of local WW1 memorials in communities around the country.

You are working on a remarkable memorial project involving a stand of memorial trees from World War One. Tell us about the project.

Rear Admiral James J. Carey, USN (Ret.)Rear Admiral James J. Carey, USN (Ret.)Actually I'm working on two projects in Berlin, WI, my old hometown. The 1st is the planting of 2 Memorial Trees on the grounds of the local VFW Post, in memory of my Father and Uncle, both of whom served in the Cavalry in France in WW I. That project is almost complete and has been done in close cooperation with the VFW, the Berlin Area Historical Society [BAHS], and the Saving Hallowed Ground WW1 Commission project providing registry of WW1 Memorial Tree plantings. Both of these trees have already been planted and dedicated and registered with Saving Hallowed Ground, and only await the arrival of the tree identity tags from Saving Hallowed Ground to be completed.

My 2nd project is related to 3 existing WW1 entities in Berlin, WI, one related to an organization formed after the war for WW1 veterans and thus more of a history project, and the other two related to two WW One existing Memorials at Berlin's main cemetery, Oakwood Cemetery, where the cemetery Main Gate was constructed from local quarried granite and dedicated to the memory of the WW1 veterans. I will be sending you a photo of that dedication plaque, which is mounted on the gate, shortly.

The other Berlin WW1 existing memorial is the 30 trees lining the cemetery roadway directly behind the entry gate and leading up to the cemetery chapel. There were 30 original trees planted and dedicated individually to the 30 Berlin, WI area men killed in WW1. Dutch Elm disease wiped out the original trees, which have since been replaced by maple trees, and a part of the WW1 Memorial restoration efforts that I and my foundation, the Admiral Carey Foundation, are involved with relates to the placement of the individual identification stars by each tree honoring the men who died. Those stars are currently on a large display board and are kept in the chapel, where of course they are not seen by very many cemetery visitors, and thus need to be placed by the individual trees.

Read more: Four Questions for Rear Admiral James Carey

Four Questions for Mike Hanlon

"We will always need the Doughboys."

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, U.S. World War One Centennial Commission

Mike Hanlon is a former Former USAF officer and Project Manager for corporations and government agencies. But an interest in history, and then a fascination with World War One put him on a new career track as a publisher, historian, and 25 years as a tour guide of the Great War battlefields in France. Mike talked to us about what World War One has meant to him, and what he has discovered while tracing to footsteps of the Doughboys in France.

What is your specialty within World War One history? How did you come to it?

Mike Hanlon 1Mike Hanlon at the Meuse-Argonne battlefield in FranceMy post-Air Force working career, before I got so committed to military history, involved managing large development projects for corporations, government agencies, and hospitals. My specialty was helping salvage projects in deep trouble. Even though the work was always challenging, I got a little tired of solving everyone else's problems and determined to find something to do with my personal interests. These have always included history, and especially American history. I decided to find a period of our history that was somewhat neglected, learn everything I could about it, and make a documentary film about some aspect of it.

I'll leave out the methodology of my searching, but I eventually settled on the First World War after realizing it was endlessly interesting – it had everything: tales of high adventure and great tragedy, its own pantheon of heroes and villains, scientific and religious dimensions, and its very own literature, art, and music. Also, I saw in a flash that the Great War had a much more substantial impact on America today than most people realized, including all my teachers, with one exception – a great history professor I had at Penn State named Warren Hassler.

Read more: Four Questions for Mike Hanlon

Sculptor Sabin Howard in Service of Something Bigger

By Milene Fernandez
via the Epoch Times

NEW YORK−Sabin Howard is in the throes of a monumental task. The master sculptor has to conceptualize a horrific slice of history and then translate it into sculptural form that is engaging and worthy of honoring incredible sacrifice.

Howard photo Epoch Times articleSculptor Sabin Howard at his studio in the Bronx, New York, on Sept. 13, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)“It’s pretty epic when you lose 10,000 people every hour,” he said.

Nearly a year ago, Howard and the young visionary architect Joe Weishaar won the competition of The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission to create the National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park, with views to the White House.

The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission is looking to raise $50 million in private funds for the national memorial and hopes to inaugurate it on the 100th anniversary of the end of the war on Nov. 11, 2018.

Howard envisions a visual narrative of World War I that will help people contemplate our shared humanity, for many generations to come. He called his design in progress a soldier’s journey.

“I’ve redesigned the whole thing at least a dozen times,” he said, looking at a long scroll of photographs on his studio floor in the Bronx in September. It shows models in dynamic poses, wearing World War One uniforms from 100 years ago.

He’s had several sessions with models. He directs them into slow motion action and then takes photographs of the poses, gestures, and expressions he wants to convey. From the photographs he makes sculptural-looking drawings, as reference for a three-dimensional maquete (scaled model), from which the actual monument will be created.

Read more: Epoch Times article on Sabin Howard

Hopkins and the Great War

By Phoebe Evans Letocha and Jenny Kinniff
via Maryland Humanities

Chemistry professors recruited to do research in chemical warfare. Surgeons developing revolutionary new techniques to deal with gruesome war injuries. Nurses stepping into unprecedented new leadership roles at home and on the warfront. Student soldiers living in engineering classrooms converted to barracks. All these things and more were experienced by the Johns Hopkins community during World War One.Johns Hopkins 1Student soldiers living in engineering classrooms converted to barracks at Johns Hopkins University during WW1.

This fall, Johns Hopkins University launched Hopkins and the Great War, its first multi-campus collaborative exhibit. The exhibit opened in September 2016 in three locations: The Milton S. Eisenhower Library on the Homewood campus, the School of Nursing Anne M. Pinkard Building, and the William H. Welch Medical Library. Drawing on the rich archival collections at the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives and the Ferdinand Hamburger University Archives, these exhibits explore World War I’s impact on different members of the Hopkins community: the students, faculty, and female patrons of the undergraduate Homewood campus, and the doctors, nurses, students, and faculty of the Johns Hopkins Hospital and the schools of Nursing, Medicine and Public Health.

Our exhibit curators included archivists at both the Medical and University Archives as well as a historian of medicine. In addition to the physical exhibits, a digital exhibit is available with enhanced content, including links to the full text of publications and diaries featured in the exhibit.

Each physical exhibit location hosted an exhibit opening. On September 14 at the Eisenhower Library, Dr. Alice Kelly, Harmsworth Junior Research Fellow in the History of America and the First World War at Oxford University’s Rothermere American Institute and Corpus Christi College, presented “Ellen N. La Motte: A Hopkins Nurse in the Backwash of War.” Kelly’s talk explored La Motte’s startlingly graphic 1916 memoir and newly discovered correspondence now part of the Chesney Medical Archives’ La Motte Collection in the broader context of World War One literature and the wartime avant-garde.

Read more: Johns Hopkins and the Great War

Four Questions for Phoebe Lickwar

"A space of commemoration that is appropriate to the magnitude of loss"

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, U.S. World War One Centennial Commission

Phoebe Lickwar is a member of the design team for the new National World War One Memorial in Washington DC. She is a noted Landscape Architect, and will be handling landscape design elements of the site.

Tell us about your background, and about your current role with the WW1 Memorial design team.

Phoebe Lickwar 350 Phoebe LickwarI grew up in Washington D.C. After graduating from the National Cathedral School, I headed north to attend Harvard, where I earned my undergraduate degree in Visual and Environmental Studies / Fine Arts and my graduate degree in Education. I worked as a fine arts photographer and taught at the Art Institute of Boston for six years before I finally discovered the profession of landscape architecture. I enrolled in the Rhode Island School of Design’s Master of Landscape Architecture program and the rest is history.

Upon graduation, I was hired by Peter Walker and Partners, where I worked on large complex public projects such as the National September 11 Memorial in New York. I eventually left PWP to accept a professorship at the University of Arkansas and to start my own practice, Forge Landscape Architecture.

I am co-designer of the WW1 Memorial, with Joe Weishaar, and the landscape architect on the project. We are working collaboratively with sculptor Sabin Howard and architect of record GWWO. The design team has a tremendously positive energy and I am really enjoying the collaborative spirit of our work.

We each bring something different and equally important to the table. I bring my expertise in designing and realizing projects of this scope and scale and my experience working with multiple stakeholders and varied consultants on landscape architecture projects in the public realm.

Read more: Four Questions for Phoebe Lickwar

Hundreds of missing WW1 memorials to be assembled into a national register & map

Memorial Hunters Club challenges public to find local WW1 Memorials

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, U.S. World War One Centennial Commission

There is currently no complete U.S. register of World War One memorials.Florida

The Memorial Hunters Club launches this week from the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials program and is intended to crowd-source a complete register of US WW1 memorials.

The initiative invites veterans groups, schools, scouts, 4H members, DAR chapters, civic organizations and interested individuals to locate, document, research and register local memorials not currently in the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission’s database found at ww1cc.org/ww1-memorials.

The resulting map, images, information and raw data will be put into the public domain and will be made available to any school, university, organization or anyone who wishes to expand on or publish the results.

As a reward for finding one of these fading cultural treasures (not currently recorded on the national map), the Memorial Hunter or Team will be recognized on the map and database as the source of that find, either by name, nickname or team name.

It is a little like Pokemon Go® in that the memorials will be found in public places, parks, public building, schools and churches. Once a Memorial Hunter has located a memorial, they can use their smart phone to look it up on the map at ww1cc.org/hunter and if it is not posted they can claim it by taking pictures, marking the map location, researching the history and uploading the find on the Memorial Hunters Club web site.

Read more: Memorial Hunters Club challenges public to find and register local WWI Memorials


#COUNTDOWNTOVETERANSDAY update for October 31, 2016

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, U.S. World War One Centennial Commission

The #CountdownToVeteransDay 2016 campaign marches on! Your teamwork has made this effort a remarkable achievement!

On Facebook, we have been able to gather 1,540 #CountdownToVeteransDay postings, bringing us some 1,510,445 Audience Impressions.

On Twitter, our collective efforts have yielded some 1,955 Posts by 404 Partner Users, earning a total Audience of 3,864,255 Impressions.

Combined -- the #CountdownToVeteransDay campaign has, to date, generated an total audience of about 5,374,700 people!

We thank you for helping us to make people more aware of our veterans, and our military members!

For more information, and for opportunities to honor America's Veterans, go to the Countdown to Veterans Day page.







Your teamwork has made this effort a remarkable achievement!

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