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World War I Centennial News



National WWI Memorial takes shape, as sculpture models are revealed 

By Mike Valerio
via the WUSA-9 television station (DC) web site

WASHINGTON — More than a century after Armistice Day marked the end of the Great War, sculptures commemorating America’s involvement are now taking shape – the central element of D.C.’s planned National World War I Memorial.

Sculptor Sabin Howard revealed the images on his Instagram account, with the first models of American service members soon ready for bronze casting.

The memorial is planned for Pershing Park, across the street from the Wilson Building and White House grounds.

"I'm ready to break ground on this memorial," architect Joseph Weishaar said in an interview Monday. "When it's completed, it'll be the largest, free-standing bronze relief in the Western Hemisphere."

Read more: National WWI Memorial takes shape, as sculpture models are revealed


olympia leadThe casket of the World War I Unknown Soldier being carried off of the U.S. Olympia in 1921. 

“Known But To God”: The Unknown Soldier and the U.S.S. Olympia 

By Max Kaiserman
via the American Rifleman web site

Sentinels at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier recently received new SIG Sauer U.S. M17 pistols inlaid with wood from the U.S.S. Olympia. It was selected because she was the honored ship that transported the remains of the World War I Unknown Soldier home from Europe. Today, three American soldiers are interred at the Tomb, one each from World War I, World War II and Korea. (A fourth unknown from the battlefields of Vietnam was later identified and returned to his family).

Aboard the U.S.S. Olympia, a young U.S. Marine Corps captain led the Honor Guard that accompanied the remains of Unknown Soldier back home in 1921—the year the Tomb was dedicated. His name was Graves Erskine. 

General Graves B. Erskine, USMC

Graves Blanchard Erskine was born in Columbia, La., on June 28, 1897. On April 6, 1917, the United States declared war against Germany. Little more than a month later on May 22, 1917, Erskine was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He was 19 and had just completed his degree at Louisiana State University. Like so many young men, Erskine joined the military to fight for his country in what would become known as World War I.

Read more: “Known But To God”: The Unknown Soldier and the U.S.S. Olympia


The Doughboy Foundation Releases Free Updated “Bells of Peace” App for Commemorating Veterans Day 2019 

WASHINGTON, DC ― The Doughboy Foundation, in cooperation with The Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS), has released an updated version of the “Bells of Peace” phone app for commemorating Veterans Day 2019.

BOP Header 2019 500The updated Bells of Peace app, which is now available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play, assists American citizens and organizations across the nation to toll bells in their communities twenty-one times on Monday, November 11, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. local time. The nationwide bell tolling will honor those American men and women who served one hundred years ago during World War I, as well as saluting all Americans veterans who have served their nation at home and abroad in both war and peace.

The nationwide Bells of Peace initiative also supports the annual SHGTUS National Salute as the organization prepares for the 100th Anniversary, in 2021, of the burial of an Unknown American Soldier who fought and died in World War I, in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (TUS) in Arlington National Cemetery. The National Salute shows America’s deep respect for its Unknown Soldiers buried in the TUS, and all its veterans.

The website provides more information about the Bells of Peace app. The app will toll the bells automatically: as the app's built-in countdown timer reaches 11 a.m. local time, Bells of Peace will toll from every device; together; 21 times; in a remembrance of when the fighting ended on the Western Front in 1918. The bells can be tolled manually as well. Seven different types of bells are available.

The Doughboy Foundation and The Society of the Honor Guard Tomb of the Unknown Soldier encourage the tolling of bells on Veterans Day in communities across the nation, in places of worship, schools, town halls, public carillons, and cemeteries; at military bases, posts, and stations; aboard ships at sea; on aircraft in the air; and by astronauts in orbit above the earth. 

Participating individuals and organizations are asked to use the hashtags #BellsofPeace and #CountdowntoVeteransDay to spread the word about their intention to Toll the Bells of Peace on Veterans Day, and to highlight photos and articles of their ceremonies afterward.



26700v bannerThe U.S. Army's World War I "Hello Girls" military telephone operators will be honored November 6 at Overseas Service League Flagstaff and Grove in Central Park, he only memorial in Manhattan to women veterans. 

Tribute Ceremony at Newly Rediscovered Women's Overseas Service League Flagstaff and Grove in Central Park Honors Women Serving America in World War I and Beyond

By Kevin Fitzpatrick

East Side World War I Centennial Commemoration, American Red Cross, and the NYC Department of Veterans’ Services holding a Tribute Ceremony to the Women Who Have Served America, Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 11:00-12 noon at the newly rediscovered Overseas Service League Flagstaff and Grove, Central Park at 69th Street Walk.

In 1925 a Central Park memorial grove of 24 trees and flagstaff were conceptualized for a tribute to American women who died overseas in World War One. Today the living memorial of thriving trees spans the wall along Fifth Avenue from 69th to 71st Streets. In 1932 hundreds of leading New Yorkers gathered on a “smooth green plot set aside by the Parks Department”, for a ceremony in bugle sounds, song, and words. Today this grove, almost lost to history, remains the only memorial in Manhattan to women veterans, but is sadly forlorn and overlooked.

To remember these brave women, and others who have served America as veterans and in support roles up and until today, we renew this Tribute Ceremony. Once again we bring attention to this most wonderful Flagstaff and Grove in Central Park.

The event is free and open to the public. Enter Central Park on Fifth Avenue and East 69th Street.



They Shall Not Grow Old horizontal banner“They Shall Not Grow Old”, director Peter Jackson’s extraordinary look at the soldiers, the events, the sounds and the sights of World War I, will be back in movie theaters in both 3D and 2D for three days only in December 2019.  

Peter Jackson’s Unforgettable WWI Documentary ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ Returns to Movie Theaters In December 2019 for Encore Presentations in Both 3D and 2D 

By John Singh
J2 Communications

By popular demand, Fathom Events and Warner Brothers will bring director Peter Jackson's remarkable World War I documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” back to movie theaters nationwide for three days only this December, offering audiences another chance to see it on the big screen and in 3D.

One of the most acclaimed and highest-grossing documentaries ever made, “They Shall Not Grow Old” is director Peter Jackson’s extraordinary look at the soldiers, the events, the sounds and the sights of World War I. After hearing from moviegoers nationwide who wanted to relive this unique cinematic experience in 3D, Fathom Events and Warner Bros. will bring “They Shall Not Grow Old” back to movie theaters across the country for three days only this December. The film will also be available in 2D in select locations.

On December 7, 17 and 18, more than 800 cinemas throughout the U.S. present the film the New York Times called “a brisk, absorbing and moving experience,” and about which Rolling Stone wrote, “You won’t believe your eyes.” Initially released by Fathom Events and Warner Bros. in December of 2018, “They Shall Not Grow Old” has become one of Fathom’s most successful and most requested titles. The December presentations will include both an introduction to the film by Jackson as well as a post-film exploration of how the film was made.

Tickets for “They Shall Not Grow Old” can be purchased at or participating theater box offices. For a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

For generations, World War I has only been experienced through grainy, silent black-and-white footage. With unprecedented digital restoration, meticulous colorization and revelatory use of sound, “They Shall Not Grow Old” was nominated by BAFTA and the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Documentary, and won the Motion Picture Sound Editor’s Golden Reel Award. “They Shall Not Grow Old” opens a window to the past in a way that has never been seen or heard before.

One of the most acclaimed and highest-grossing documentaries ever made, “They Shall Not Grow Old” has been one of Fathom Events' most requested titles since its initial release one year ago.



new banner 

National Civic Art Society hosts Sculptor Sabin Howard presenting his classical design for the National World War I Memorial November 15 in Washington, D.C.

The National Civic Art Society presents a talk by sculptor Sabin Howard on Friday November 15 at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C., 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. EST.

Sabin mugSabin HowardHoward will present his magnificent classical design for the National World War I Memorial, which recently received final approval from the required government authorities. The Memorial is to be located in Pershing Park in Washington.

Howard's design is a monumental 58-foot-long bronze sculpture titled "A Soldier's Journey." Flowing from left-to-right, the 38-figure composition allegorically tells the story of a soldier who leaves his family for the front, endures the ordeal of battle, and returns home.

The ideals of heroism, family, and caring are juxtaposed with the violence, terror, and aggression of battle. The sculpture simultaneously tells a second story--namely, America's coming of age during the Great War.

Howard's talk will be followed by a reception. Tickets are available via the eventbrite web site.

Founded in 2002, the National Civic Art Society ( is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that educates and empowers civic leaders in the promotion of public art and architecture worthy of our great Republic. The society advances the classical tradition in architecture, urbanism, and their allied arts. Through its programs and initiatives, the society guides government agencies and officials; assists practitioners; and educate students and the general public in the preservation and creation of beautiful, dignified public buildings, monuments, and spaces.

More information on the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC is available here.



101-year-old World War I draft registration card found in Ohio returned to family 

via the 5 Eyewitness News ABC television station (Minneapolis, MN) web site.

Hidden for 101 years inside the cover of a Bible was a World War I registration card belonging to Clem Clair Hubbard.

A Toledo, Ohio woman made the discovery after purchasing the Bible at a local sale knowing right away that she needed to return this card to the rightful family.

Librarians at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library helped track down the family by shifting through obituaries, doing research on the Hubbard family, and teaming up with the history and genealogy department at the library.

The research lead them to Hubbard's who lived in the same town in Ohio.

The public library has chosen to display their own collection of treasures that have been hidden away in the books on their shelves.

However, the librarians are simply glad the piece of the Hubbard's family heirloom has been returned.



ghostfleet 1571413699 3(Left) An overhead view of Mallows Bay and the nearly 200 shipwrecks there. (Right) Photos of a wreck's hull at low tide. Photos courtesy NOAA. 

The Ghost Fleet: How Skeletons Of WWI Ships Came To Rest In The Potomac 

By Jacob Fenston and Tyrone Turner
WMAU American University Radio (Washington, DC) via the WMAU Atavist web site

If you look at a satellite image of the Potomac River, about 30 miles south of Washington you’ll see a curve in the river, packed with dozens of identical oblong shapes. At low tide, they emerge eerily from the water — a “ghost fleet” of wooden steamships dating back to World War I. It’s called Mallows Bay, and it’s one of the largest collections of shipwrecks in the world.

The story of how these ships ended up in the Potomac is a tale of environmental destruction — and rebirth. The shipwrecks have recently received federal protection, as part of a new national marine sanctuary.

WAMU’s Jacob Fenston and Tyrone Turner visited Mallows Bay, by canoe and kayak, to document the unusual waterscape the shipwrecks have created. Aerial photography by Jerry Jackson.

‘It Just Loomed Out Of The Fog’

Donald Shomette first saw the ghost ships when he was a kid, on a camping trip. He shows me a photo from around that time.

“1958. That’s me. That’s my little brother. That’s my dad.”

In the morning, the river was socked in with fog as the boys and their dad puttered through the water in a small motor boat. Suddenly, rising from the Potomac, we see the wooden bow of a ship.

“It just loomed out of the fog,” recalls Shomette. “It was amazing.”

Altogether, there are about 200 shipwrecks crammed into Mallows Bay. For Shomette, the sight was instantly entrancing.

Read more: The Ghost Fleet: How Skeletons Of WWI Ships Came To Rest In The Potomac



Gremlin Theatre puts us in the WWI foxhole with decision makers 

By Chris Hewitt
via the Star Tribune newspaper (MN) web site

It can’t be easy for a small company to tackle a big, big play, but Gremlin Theatre has assembled a knockout cast, top to bottom, for its “Journey’s End.”

ows 15717627489628Benjamin Slye (on cot) and Peter Christian Hansen in Gremlin Theatre’s “Journey’s End.”The 12 (all white, all male) performers are as cohesive a unit as you’ll find in town, which is an immeasurable asset in a play as cloistered as “Journey’s End.” It takes place on one set — director/scene designer Bain Boehlke’s incredibly detailed foxhole, all wooden beams and sandbags — over the course of four days near the end of World War I.

Leavened by a surprising amount of humor, the drama is about the price paid by the people who fight a war and about how oddly similar life in a foxhole is to life outside it. Class distinctions still rule in “Journey’s End” and, although that underground bunker is hardly “Downton Abbey,” the officers still have servants to bring them tea with jam and bread.

Playwright R.C. Sherriff’s central character is a great one, played in the original 1928 production by a young Laurence Olivier. Capt. Stanhope (Gremlin’s artistic director, Peter Christian Hansen) seems to be suffering the effects of shell shock, sleep deprivation and what we’d now call post-traumatic stress disorder. Jovial one minute and hurling insults the next, he’s barely keeping it together enough to lead his men. That they heed him so dutifully is a tribute to Sherriff’s incisive and still modern-sounding writing, as well as a clue to the solid military man he once must have been. It’s a beast of a role, but Hansen makes all the pieces fit, his charm and wit offering hints of the man Stanhope was before war changed him.

Boehlke’s production pulls you into its spell in a number of ways: deep darkness, suggesting a place that is lit only by candles; the lulling sound of gunfire in the distance (courtesy of sound designer C. Andrew Mayer); a recurring musical motif from Samuel Barber’s mournful “Adagio for Strings”; the actors’ use of the space, which becomes more constrained as the play goes on; the forced lightness of the characters, which makes their duties seem even more devastating. It all creates a powerful effect that peaks with a wonderfully human exchange between Benjamin Slye and Alan Sorenson as men who are about to lead others into battle, wavering between discussing strategy and talking about absolutely anything else they can think of. That scene, which could take place in any war, is a sad reminder that this nearly century-old drama will always be relevant.

Read more: Gremlin Theatre puts us in the WWI foxhole with decisionmakers


 the national wwi museum

Veterans Day Weekend Events Honor Those Who Serve Our Country at National WWI Museum and Memorial Friday-Monday, Nov. 8 to 11 

via PRWeb as published in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper (CA) web site

As the commemoration of the centennial of World War I (2014-19) continues, the National WWI Museum and Memorial serves as a fitting place to honor those who have served — and continue to serve — our country. To recognize these men and women, admission to the Museum and Memorial is free for veterans and active duty military personnel, while general admission for the public is half-price, throughout the Veterans Day weekend (Friday to Monday, Nov. 8 to 11, 2019).

To observe Veterans Day, the Museum and Memorial will offer a wide variety of events November 8 to 11 for people of all ages, including the debut of the acclaimed traveling exhibition The Vietnam War: 1945-1975. On its final tour stop, the Museum and Memorial is the only location west of the Mississippi to showcase the exhibition.

The Museum and Memorial will host a free, public Veterans Day Ceremony at 10 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 11, featuring a keynote address from Dr. Pellom McDaniels III, former Kansas City Chiefs player who now serves as the faculty curator of the African American Collections and assistant professor of African American Studies at Rose Library at Emory University. The event will feature remarks from dignitaries including Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas as well as patriotic musical performances.

Support for Veterans Day is provided by Jackson County Executive and County Legislators, the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund of Kansas City, Mo., and Weather or Not.

Read more: Veterans Day Weekend Events Honor Those Who Serve Our Country at National WWI Museum and Memorial...


Glory Gratitude exhibitThe WWI documentary-exhibit entitled "Glory & Gratitude to the United States"at the Lafayette City Hall through October contains copies of dozen of letters written in gratitude to soldiers by Belgian schoolchildren in 1915. 

WWI exhibit visiting Lafayette, LA City Hall until end of October 

via the KATC News ABC 3 television station (Lafayette, LA) web site

From now until the end of October, the WWI documentary-exhibit entitled "Glory & Gratitude to the United States" will be on display at the Lafayette City Hall atrium.

Citizens of Lafayette are invited to view the exhibit until its departure.

The exhibit contains copies of dozen of letters written in gratitude to soldiers by Belgian schoolchildren in 1915. According to LCG, the letters were recently rediscovered in the family home of the attic of Alexander Heingartner who was the United States Consul General in the Belgian City of Liège during World War I.

Heingartner's great granddaughter, Dr. Nancy Heingartner, found the letters and sent to the Belgian Embassy in Washington, DC where they were organized into a touring exhibit for WWI.

The letters have been shown throughout the country over the last two years.

Lafayette is the first Louisiana town on the tour, according to LCG.

During World War I, civilians in occupied Belgium benefited from one of the first global philanthropic enterprises ever created. The Commission For Relief in Belgium, a mostly US organization, collected and sent shipments of food and warm clothing to Belgium under the leadership of an American official named Herbert Hoover who later became US Secretary of Commerce and was elected President of the United States in March of 1929.



Sabaton celebrate 20 years with a tonally inconsistent but informative power-metal take on WWI 

By Ed Blair
via the Chicago Reader (IL) web site

Sabaton are celebrating their 20th year of existence in style. The Swedish power-metal band kicked off 2019 with the launch of their own YouTube channel, which focuses on the history that fuels their songwriting, and in July they released their ninth album, the World War I-inspired The Great War.

Sabaton are no stranger to exploring such landmark events through their music; previous records have focused on World War II (2010’s Coat of Arms), the rise and fall of the Swedish empire (2012’s Carolus Rex), and noteworthy final stands throughout military history (2016’s The Last Stand).

However, translating the horrors of WWI (which in recent decades hasn’t often received the same type of propagandist spins as WWII) into the triumphant riffs and soaring solos that typically define power metal is a tricky task, and Sabaton don’t always quite nail it. “The Attack of the Dead Men” recounts the victorious but doomed charge of Russian troops gassed by Germans in 1915 while defending Osowiec Fortress, but the band’s sanitized version of the story skimps on the gory details (the cocktail of gas used by the Germans essentially liquefied the flesh of the Russian troops), focusing on heroism rather than on desperation, futility, and tragedy.

Still, Sabaton know their way around a riff and a rousing chorus: “A Ghost in the Trenches,” their ode to famed Canadian sniper and First Nations activist Francis Pegahmagabow, gallops with joyously acrobatic guitar work and drops in a surprise key change to great effect. The band clearly love military history, and to their credit, they often highlight obscure aspects of the campaigns they cover. 

Read more: Sabaton celebrate 20 years with a tonally inconsistent but informative power-metal take on WWI


Ahead of Veterans Day, National Museum of African American History and Culture To Host Book Discussion on African Americans’ Central Role in WWI 

via Globe Newswire  

amazon image 59bf13bd0e09f8c70a3816e33a7a408bb1d8ff80To celebrate veterans and commemorate the centennial of WWI, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will host a book talk on the museum’s latest publication, We Return Fighting: World War I and the Shaping of Modern Black Identity, on Thursday, November 7, 7p.m., at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, 1400 Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington, DC.

The book talk will feature Kinshasha Holman-Conwill, deputy director, NMAAHC, and editor of We Return Fighting: World War I and the Shaping of Modern Black Identity; Greg Carr, associate professor of Africana studies and chair of the Department of Afro-American Studies, Howard University; and Krewasky A. Salter, Col., USA, Ret., guest curator, executive director of the First Division Museum.

The public program focuses on the museum’s latest book: We Return Fighting: World War I and the Shaping of Modern Black Identity. The richly illustrated book commemorates African Americans’ roles in World War I, highlighting how the wartime experience reshaped their lives and their communities after they returned home. Greg Carr, chair of the Department of Afro-American Studies at Howard University, will moderate a discussion with Krewasky Salter, guest curator and author of the essay, “The 369th Regiment,” for an evening book discussion on the WWI experience told through the lens of the African American veterans, military families, women, anti-war advocates and public intellectuals. 

Edited by the museum’s Deputy Director Kinshasha Holman-Conwill, We Return Fighting reminds readers of the central role of African American soldiers in the war that first made their country a world power. It also reveals the way the conflict shaped African American identity and lent fuel to their longstanding efforts to demand full civil rights and to stake their place in the country’s cultural and political landscape. Through essays and photographs, We Return Fighting: World War I and the Shaping of Modern Black Identity traces the efforts of black soldiers and how they returned to the U.S. with a strengthened determination to win their civil rights. 


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