World War I Centennial News


From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

Making Peace: Harder Than Making War? A Roundtable Discussion

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In June 21st's edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 128, we convened an expert panel of historians and subject matter experts for a lively discussion of the complicated and consequential peace process that followed the war. The participants come from three countries and have different academic, literary, and professional credentials. Read on for a fascinating look at an extraordinary time in world history, as told by the people who study it. The following is a transcript of the conversation, lightly edited for clarity: 

Theo Mayer: Welcome to the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 128. The podcast is about then, what was happening 100 years ago in the aftermath of World War I, and it's also about now: how World War I is being remembered, commemorated, discussed, taught, and learned. But most importantly, the podcast is about why and how we'll never let those events fall back into the mists of obscurity. So, join us as we explore the many facets of World War I, both then and now.

As we come up on the centennial of one of the most significant and consequential events, World War I, we've put together this special edition of World War I Centennial News. Instead of a series of segments and stories, this week, we've dedicated the entire episode to reviewing, exploring, and discussing the Paris Peace Conference and the resultant Treaty of Versailles. To do this, we've gathered a special group of experts, noted historians, authors, and to represent the listeners, a citizen historian to explore this very significant process and treaty. What happened? Why? Is what we learned in schools what happened 100 years ago? And what are some of the consequences? It's going to be a very informative experience this week on World War I Centennial News, the Doughboy Podcast, brought to you by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, the Starr Foundation, and the Doughboy Foundation. I'm Theo Mayer, the chief technologist for the commission and your host. Welcome to our Treaty of Versailles special.

Since this past February, a century after a global peace conference was convened in Paris, we've been presenting, exploring, and discussing the events that transpired. This has been especially true with a series of reports presented by Mike Shuster, former NPR correspondent and the curator for the Great War Project blog. Mike's exploration of these past weeks has been fascinating, horrifying, confusing, and generally, pretty amazing. His reports have inspired us to put together today's show to explore, summarize, and maybe clarify what happened 100 years ago. As the host of this show and not a historian, just a guy who's had the privilege of exploring World War I with some of the smartest subject matter experts in the world for a nonstop 127 weeks, seeing the process of making peace has been more befuddling than following the process of making war. Granted, the war was total madness and insanity, but what is inconceivable to me is that the process of making peace seems even stranger. So, let me set this up.

Read more: Podcast Article - Historian Roundtable on the Peacemaking Process


As the GI Bill turns 75, WWI veteran Arizona's Sen. Ernest McFarland is remembered for key role 

By Ronald J. Hansen
via the Kitsap Sun newspaper (AZ) web site

Don't expect much fanfare to mark the occasion, but on Saturday one of the nation's most transformational pieces of legislation, the GI Bill of Rights, turned 75.

Ernest McFarland in Navy during WWIArizona Sen. Ernest McFarland, who was known for his role in passing the GI Bill, served in the U.S. Navy during World War I. Even more lost to the passage of time is the central role that Sen. Ernest McFarland, an Arizona Democrat, played in shaping what is widely credited with helping fuel America’s post-war economic boom.

McFarland, who later rose to the position of Senate majority leader, helped stitch together competing ideas for the 1944 plan to help World War II's veterans when they returned from service.

McFarland was known to many as "Mac" and had the distinction of serving not only as U.S. senator, but as Arizona governor and chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court.

But the native Oklahoman also quietly carried another nickname: "father of the GI Bill."

"It was an amazing, amazing investment in human capital in this country at a time when this country desperately needed human capital, and continues to thrive to this day," said David Lucier, founder of the nonprofit Arizona Veterans and Military Leadership Alliance.

"The GI Bill of 1944 was one of the most significant and impactful pieces of legislation in American history," said Glenn Altschuler, a professor of American studies at Cornell University and co-author of "The GI Bill: A New Deal for Veterans."

"It had an immense impact on the transition from war to peace, a tremendous impact on the prosperity of the 1950s and 1960s, and produced among the Greatest Generation a wonderful and important sense of pride and citizenship. If ever there was a piece of legislation that showed government can work in behalf of the American people, it was the GI Bill."

McFarland was a World War I veteran

Like much of World War II itself, the seeds for the GI Bill grew out of World War I.

McFarland graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1917 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy as the nation joined the fighting in World War I.

Read more: As the GI Bill turns 75, WWI veteran Arizona's Sen. Ernest McFarland is remembered for key role


Court Rules Bladensburg WWI Peace Cross Can Stand On Public Land 

By Richard Wolf
via the USA Today newspaper web site

World War I Memorial Bladensburg Maryland 400World War I Memorial Peace Cross in Bladensburg, Maryland.WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a gigantic Latin cross on government land in Bladensburg, Maryland, does not have to be moved or altered in the name of church-state separation.

The justices reasoned that the 40-foot cross was erected nearly a century ago as a World War I memorial, not an endorsement of Christianity. Although their verdict could extend to other existing monuments, it does not offer a blank check to new ones.

The opinion by Associate Justice Samuel Alito concluded that the display does not violate the Constitution's establishment clause because of its longevity and multiple messages. The vote was 7-2; Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.

"The cross is undoubtedly a Christian symbol, but that fact should not blind us to everything else that the Bladensburg Cross has come to represent," Alito said. "A government that roams the land, tearing down monuments with religious symbolism and scrubbing away any reference to the divine, will strike many as aggressively hostile to religion."

The ruling protects what Alito called similar "ceremonial, celebratory or commemorative" monuments.

"Where monuments, symbols, and practices with a longstanding history follow in the tradition of the First Congress in respecting and tolerating different views, endeavoring to achieve inclusivity and nondiscrimination, and recognizing the important role religion plays in the lives of many Americans, they are likewise constitutional," he said.

Ginsburg dissented from the bench and in writing. "Just as a Star of David is not suitable to honor Christians who died serving their country, so a cross is not suitable to honor those of other faiths who died defending their nation," she wrote.

It was another in a series of high court decisions defending religious freedom, from allowing public prayer and allocating public funds to exempting religious objectors from laws regarding contraception and same-sex marriage. 

The question before the court was simple: Does the 93-year-old "Peace Cross" violate the First Amendment, which prohibits government establishment of religion?

Even if the answer was yes, few of the justices who heard the case in February wanted to see it moved, altered or demolished. Conceived in 1919 by bereaved mothers of the fallen and completed by the American Legion six years later, the war memorial has become part of the town's landscape.

Read more: Supreme Court Rules Bladensburg WWI Peace Cross Can Stand On Public Land


Vandals spray-paint WWI Memorial in KC 

By Robert A. Cronkleton
via the Kansas City Star newspaper (MO) web site

graffitiSpray-painted graffiti on the dedication wall of the Liberty MemorialPolice are looking for two people who vandalized the Dedication Wall of the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City early Tuesday, June 18.

The vandals struck about 1 a.m. at the Liberty Memorial at 2 Memorial Drive, when two people were seen spray-painting graffiti on the wall, which is located on the northern edge of the Museum and Memorial Grounds near Pershing Road.

A witness told police that the vandals sprayed in red paint the words “Glory to the fallen martyrs . . .” before running away. The graffiti appears to reference the June 1986 prison revolts in Peru where 250 inmates died.

The Dedication Wall holds the bronze busts of the five Allied leaders — Gen. Baron Jacques of Belgium, Gen. Armando Diaz of Italy, Marshal Ferdinand Foch of France, Gen. John J. Pershing of the United States, and Sir Admiral Earl David Beatty of Great Britain — present during the site dedication on Nov. 1, 1921.

In addition to the words, the vandals also spray-painted “Xs” across the leaders’ faces.

Read more: Vandals spray-paint WWI Memorial in KC


Eva Crowell plaqueLyons native Eva Crowell served as a nurse in World War I. Above is the tile commemorating her service on the Lyons Veterans Memorial on Main Street. 

The story of Eva Crowell 

By Mary Fritts
via the Lyons Mirror-Sun newspaper (NB) web site

My story began with noticing three log-shaped monuments with World War I and the same last name on them. One inscription read Eva Crowell, WWI nurse. Being the only woman from Lyons to serve in WWI, I wanted to learn her story.

I accessed Lyons newspapers back to the late 1800's through the Lyons Public Library website, and found that Eva graduated from Lyons High School. She trained to be a teacher, and after teaching for four years, got her nursing degree in Lincoln, followed by post-graduate nursing in Los Angeles, CA. She enlisted, as did her brother, Ralph. While they were in different military training camps awaiting transport to France, their sister Clara died of influenza.

I thought that might have bearing on the three log monuments, arranged in advance, with two heading to war, and losing another to influenza.

The Mirror-Sun articles identify Eva as a Red Cross nurse. When she got overseas, her first months were spent working in an Evacuation Hospital in Treves (now known as Trier), Germany. She also worked in France. Articles upon her return encouraged local individuals to offer her their appreciation for all that she had done for the troops overseas. It was suggested that she deserved a gold medal.

I thought, why not get a tile for Eva on the new Lyons Veterans Plaza memorial? So I did, and since the information I had identified her as a Red Cross nurse, we added that symbol for her tile. Even before America entered the war, Red Cross nurses had been serving and helping in other European countries.

Then, a few weeks later, I found an article including information her family shared with the paper. 

In September of 1945, Eva had been invited to a reception for General Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright IV, who was the highest ranking officer held as a prisoner of war by the Japanese, of which he was for three years.  Upon his release, he was welcomed at the Veterans Hospital in his hometown of Walla Walla, WA.  Eva said that it was one of her most memorable experiences to have met and shaken hands with him.  He had been in the Argonne offense when she was a nurse at Hospital Base 49 during WWI.

Now I had a solid clue. I found Eva's name on the list of 100 nurses at Base Hospital 49, near Allerey, France.  

Read more: The story of Eva Crowell

From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

Education: Toolkits for WWI Educators with Dr. Jennifer Zoebelein

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In June 7th's edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 126, host Theo Mayer interviewed historian Dr. Jennifer Zoebelein from the National World War I Museum and Memorial. Continue reading to learn more about her new project creating WWI-focused Toolkits for educators. The following is a transcript of the conversation, lightly edited for clarity: 

Theo Mayer: Each year nearly three thousand students with their families and teachers gather at the University of Maryland College Park for a week-long event. It's the finals of National History Day. In 2019, the finals are running from June 9 to June 13 as these enthusiastic groups gather from all 50 United States, Washington DC, Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico; and international schools in China, Korea, and South Asia. Last year the US World War I Centennial Commission brought together an education partnership or consortium that includes the Commission, National History Day, the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Our next two guests are part of that initiative, as we're first joined by Dr. Jennifer Zoebelein, who's a special projects historian at the National World War I Museum and Memorial, and recently took on directing a Commission project to create a series of World War I focused Educators' Toolkits generally sponsored by the Andrew Mellon Foundation. Then, we're also going to speak with Ron Nash, who's a senior education fellow at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, to explore their part in the education initiative, but first, Dr. Zoebelein. Jennifer, welcome to the podcast.

Dr. Jennifer Z.: Thank you, Theo, thank you for having me.

jennifer zoebeleinDr. Jennifer ZoebeleinTheo Mayer: Jennifer, let me start with a moment of reflecting on your career and your work. Now, you've done some really interesting project with the museum with the National Parks Service, with the New York Historical Society. What inspired you to become so involved with history and what are some of your favorite projects that you've done?

Dr. Jennifer Z.: I was very fortunate growing up as a junior high and high school student to have really great history teachers, and I really credit them with making me the historian that I am today. They just instilled in me a passion for history and enthusiasm for history, and I've always carried that forward with me regardless of the subject matter. I truly enjoy sharing that history with people, with the public, with students, with an array of audiences. Probably my favorite project that I've ever worked on was while I was with the National Park Service at Fort Sumter in Charleston. I was very fortunate to be there during the sesquicentennial of the firing on Fort Sumter in 2011. To be part of something like that, to be at a site like that exactly 150 years after that momentous event was truly something wonderful. I don't know that I'll ever be able to repeat something like that throughout the rest of my career.

Theo Mayer: That's great. Bringing history to life.

Dr. Jennifer Z.: Yes, absolutely. It's very important and it makes it relevant for people today.

Read more: Podcast Article - Dr. Zeobelein Interview


KC bugle player will help honor veterans and fallen soldiers 

By Jordan Betts
via the KSHB Kansas City television station (MO) web site

John GreenJohn GreenFor the next week, there will be a special ceremony held at the National WWI Museum and Memorial each night.

The event will focus on honoring those who have served or currently serving, as well as those who gave their lives in the line of duty.

It's called "Taps at the Tower" and will happen at sunset each evening.

"We have a presentation of colors, a wreath is laid, a reading from the great frieze on the north side of the memorial and then Taps is played," Dr. Matt Naylor, President and CEO of the museum and memorial said.

One of the people playing Taps is John Green. He plays it the traditional way by playing the bugle.

"I started playing in the eighth grade, about 1955," Green said.

He said there are not many bugle players left in the nation.

"Originally, they didn't have radios and telephones. So, the only way they could signal troops to do what they wanted them to do was to use a bugle," Green said.

He wears a replica WWI uniform while he plays the funeral and remembrance song.

Read more: KC bugle player will help honor veterans and fallen soldiers


WWI home front featured at Lindbergh site for one more summer 

By Tyler Jensen
via the Morrison County Record newspaper (MN) web site

Over the last several summers, visitors to the Charles Lindbergh Historical Site have had the chance to take a look into the lives of people on the home front of World War I, thanks to volunteers and staff reenacting life on the Lindbergh property at the time.

5cfe9c9de1d63.imageVolunteer Margaret Lundberg portrays Mrs. Stevenson at the Lindbergh Historical Site and shows a wartime meal schedule including meatless and wheatless days.That will come to an end after this summer.

In its final year, visitors can come enjoy the program Saturday June 15, July 6, July 20, Aug. 3, Aug. 17 and Aug. 31.

Among the people guests will run into is Margaret Lundberg, who among other characters, has acted as area resident Mrs. Stevenson.

Through a tour of the Lindbergh home, Lundberg shows some of the things people went through during the war.

For instance, due to rationing, food schedules were developed where families planned for days when there would be no wheat and/or meat served, Lundberg said.

This led to eating habits that continue to today, she said.

“This is when they started serving potatoes at breakfast. You wouldn’t have eggs and toast because you were going wheatless,” Lundberg said.

Another food trend that developed from the war was eating chicken. At the time, chickens were scrawny and viewed as only good for laying eggs, Lundberg said.

“We did not eat chicken in 1917,” she said.

Read more: WWI home front featured at Lindbergh site for one more summer


Cathedral Of The Rockies Music Director Takes WWI Tribute To Belgium

By Gemma Gaudette
via the Boise State Public Radio (ID) web site

20 years ago, Cathedral of the Rockies music director Paul Aitken composed a choral piece that captures the hope and despair felt by World War I soldiers on the fields of Flanders in Belgium.

This month, Aitken will travel to Flanders to conduct a performance of "Flanders Fields"  on June 23. He recently joined Idaho Matters to talk about the importance of the piece and performing it at the site of its inspiration. 

Read more: Cathedral Of The Rockies Music Director Takes WWI Tribute To Belgium


5Living History Reenactors Phillip Dye and Larry Dunn perform wreath laying at memorial 

One Hundred Years of Victory Memorial Grove, Flag Day, 2019 

By Bill Betten
California WW1 Centennial Task Force Co-Director

If one had taken a short hike on Flag Day in Elysian Park in Los Angeles on the one hundredth anniversary of the dedication of the park and passed by the World War One monument there, your heart surely would have taken a patriotic beat at what you witnessed. A proud display by a striking color-guard, a moving rendition of our National Anthem, and heroic tales of bravery in the field all added to the remarkable feeling of dignity and gratification at being an American.

7City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, providing remarks about his own family's connection of the military.This would have been enough, but the moment you met the tall and lanky president of the United States in his signature dashing outfit of navy blue sport coat and white tie, white slacks, white shoes, and white celluloid collar, topped off with a 1920's style straw skimmer, strolling up the path with his wife Edith in arm, one was struck with the added emotion of nostalgic serendipity.

As one of the Co-Directors of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force, I felt honored to be invited by fellow Co-Director Courtland Jindra, but our importance was clearly overshadowed by the attendance of dignitaries, such as Consul Generals, post commanders, and a Los Angeles City Council Member.

The morning remained overcast as the program proceeded, which made for fine weather for sitting outside without shade. The attendees remained comfortable and attentive.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department Honor Guard was asked to present the colors, which they did with distinction and proper decorum, but the rendition of The Star Spangled Banner sung by their baritone, Humberto Agurica, was flawless and emotion-filled, while still being gratifyingly seasoned with just enough respectful coloratura to give the piece an individual flare.

Few commemorations of this manner are blessed with the presence of striking personalities, but when President Woodrow Wilson himself, took the lectern he heartily received the plaudits of the audience. The president, recreated by Robert Tidwell, presented excerpts from his July 4th speech of 1914 and June 14th proclamation of 1916, where he first proposed and proclaimed the initiation of Flag Day.

Recognitions and presentations were made to the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, while later City Council Member Mitch O'Farrell, of District 13, gave a rousing and informative presentation to those in attendance.

Tom Ohmer, Historical Narator, introduced the narratives that lay out the background of the monument and Jennifer Campbell, Commander of Hollywood American Legion Post 43, Phillip Murphy, Co-President of the Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park, and Gay Storm of the Los Angeles-Eschscholtzia Daughters of the American Revolution read excerpts from dedication resolutions, LA times articles, and the dedicatory address from one hundred years ago.

In a unique oration, the Belgian Consul General, Henri Vantieghem, read from a recently published book by Stefan Hertmans. In War and Turpentinethe Flemish author relates the experiences of his own grandfather during WW1. The presentation was exceptional in that Mr. Vantieghem read the words in their original language, while the audience could read along in English. Rarely does one get the opportunity to hear such a creative work as this performed in the power, sonance, and rhythm of its native tongue, while also understanding its meaning.

Read more: One Hundred Years of Victory Memorial Grove, Flag Day, 2019


Centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (TUS100)

"Never Forget Garden" initiative represents America’s sacred duty to remember veterans

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission

Our Centennial Commission has been partners and friends with a number of organizations over the years. Among them is a very special group -- the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This group has a strong focus -- to make certain that the individuals that made the ultimate sacrifice of their life for our freedom are not forgotten, and that the general public understands this price of freedom. The members of the Society are preparing for the Centennial of the arrival of the first Unknown at Arlington National Cemetery. To help us all mark this special anniversary, Society members have developed a new initiative to help us to remember the service of our veterans, and the memory of our fallen. We were able to talk with the Project Director, Richard Azzaro, about the project.

Tell us about this great new initiative!

logos TUS100The Centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (TUS100) in Arlington National Cemetery is a nationwide invitation from the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS) to plant individual and public gardens as a visual way to represent America’s sacred duty to remember our veterans and their families; now and for all time.

The Society views TUS100 as an opportunity to unite our people around love of Country. We feel that this initiative provides a personal path for individuals, communities, gardening clubs, garden architects, seed and plant vendors and government elements to express their profound love, sorrow, respect, and gratitude to those who have served and sacrificed on behalf of America and their families. In the timeless language of flowers, they will quietly trumpet the message that must never weaken: “We will never, ever, forget or forsake our veterans or the principles that define us as Americans.” Any time that we pause to remember our veterans could not be more serious. On that day, in that place, is the time for reflection and remembrance. A day when personal grief and love for country go hand in hand.

See https://tombguard.org/centennial/#garden for information on the complete program.

Our goal is to foster a national movement to create and promote “The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Never Forget Garden”, not unlike the popular support of the Victory Gardens of World War II.

Read more: "Never Forget Garden" initiative announced


hilltopImage from the book and upcoming photo exposition "In the Centennial Footsteps of the Great War." 

Eight Questions for Attila Szalay-Berzeviczy

"It is we who have had the privilege of talking to survivors of the First World War that must now keep the memory of the Great War alive."

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission

An interesting new World War I-themed photo book project will come out later this year. The 640-page book, entitled "„In the Centennial Footsteps of the Great War“, the book will be a tribute to the centennial of the First World War, done through contemporary imagery. We spoke to the book project's author, Attila Szalay-Berzeviczy, about the book's photography, and the book's aims. Attila has an interesting background -- he is an economist, a photographer, the founder of Historical Military Photos Ltd, and the former President of the Budapest Stock Exchange.

Tell us all about this interesting book project.

Attila Szalay BerzeviczyAttila Szalay BerzeviczyEver since I was a young boy I’ve enjoyed exploring military history. Growing up in a Hungary occupied by the Soviet Union, I learned a lot at school about how the Red Army “liberated” Central and Eastern Europe from Nazi Germany. I also heard the stories about my grandfathers, who both served on the Eastern Front during the Second World War as officers in the Hungarian Army, fighting on the side of Germany.

But we never heard anything about the First World War. It was simply not part of any private or public discussion, despite the fact that Hungary had played a major role and had perhaps lost more than any other nation as a result of the war. Pushed by Austria and Germany into the conflict, Hungary was obliged to fight from 28 July 1914 until 4 November 1918 on four different fronts. In hostilities against Russia in Galicia, Romania in Transylvania, Serbia in the Balkans and Italy in the Isonzo Valley, over 600,000 Hungarian soldiers were killed out of a population of barely 13 million.

The Paris Peace Conference meted out an incredibly harsh post-war punishment on Hungary. Only when I grew up and started to be more interested in Europe’s tragic 20th century did I realize that the First World War had in fact played a much more pivotal and complex role in shaping the world than the Second World War.

I became even more interested to learn about the 1914–1918 period when I discovered that my great-great-grandfather, Albert Berzeviczy – who during the war was the president of the Hungarian Academy of Science, as well being as a close friend of Prime Minister Istvan Tisza and loyal supporter of Kaiser Franz Joseph – strongly and publicly opposed the declaration of war on Serbia, as he feared that it would only lead to the disintegration of the Dual Monarchy that he very much loved.

In 2013, I moved from Budapest to Vienna, which made me even more motivated to delve into the causes of the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. From this point on, I was inspired to contribute in some way to the commemorations of the approaching centennial of the First World War. As a photographer, I knew that nothing expresses itself quite like a finely crafted photography book. So, after a little thought, in April 2014 I launched the “In the Centennial Footsteps of the Great War” book project.

Read more: New WWI-Themed Photo Book, and Related Photo Exhibition

From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

Remembering Veterans: Hawaii WWI Centennial Task Force Chairman Colonel Arthur Tulak on the upcoming Honolulu WWI Symposium 

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In June 7th's edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 126, host Theo Mayer interviewed Colonel Arthur Tulak, Chairman of the Hawaii World War I Centennial Task Force. Colonel Tulak discusses Hawaii's role in the First World War, the activities of the Task Force, and an upcoming academic symposium in Honolulu. The following is a transcript of the conversation, lightly edited for clarity: 

Theo Mayer: For Remembering Veterans, we're going to start in Honolulu. Hawaii has had a very active World War I centennial period and stood up a World War I Centennial Task Force, built a website hosted by the Commission, participated in 100 Cities/100 Memorials program, held a major armistice centennial event in Honolulu, and is now wrapping things up with an academic symposium co-hosted by Hawaii's Pacific University, the Arizona Memorial Visitor Center, and the Task Force. With us today is Colonel Arthur Tulak, U.S. Army, Retired, who's the Chairman of the Hawaii World War I Centennial Task Force. Colonel, thank you for joining us.

Col Arthur T.: Thank you, Theo. It's great to be here.

col tulakColonel Arthur Tulak is the Chairman of the Hawaii World War I Centennial Task ForceTheo Mayer: Let's start by talking a little bit about the Hawaii Centennial Task Force, how it came together, and some of the activities that you guys undertook.

Col Arthur T.: Yes, well, this all started in April of 2015 when Governor Ige directed the Hawaii State Department of Defense to put together a committee of some sort to take responsibility and the lead for planning Hawaii's World War I Centennial Commemoration. From May 2015, we got together a bunch of volunteers from academia, from veterans, and patriotic organizations to start developing a concept. This small group eventually became known as the Hawaii World War I Centennial Task Force, so that we've been working on these things ever since and conducted now over 35 events on the islands of Oahu and Maui.

Theo Mayer: Let me ask you this. Most people don't think about Hawaii's role in World War I because it wasn't even a state yet. How did that all play out?

Col Arthur T.: Well, that's correct. It was a territory, but it had a territorial governor. What's really amazing about Hawaii's World War I history is the fact that we had the highest per capita voluntary rate of service or enlistment rate in the nation, so we had 9800 people who served in uniform either in the Hawaii Naval Militia, the Territorial National Guard or who joined the federal services and even a small number who ended up serving in the uniform of our Allied nations on the battlefields in Europe.

Read more: Podcast Article - Col. Arthur Tulak Interview

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