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World War I Centennial News


 

Imperishable Inheritance: Sermon at the Memorial Service for Norman Prince and the Lafayette Escadrille

By Rear Admiral Margaret Grun Kibben, CHC, USN
Chief of Navy Chaplains

(Note: Rear Admiral Kibben delivered the Sermon at the Centennial Memorial Service for Norman Prince and the Lafayette Escadrille on Friday, October 14, 2016, at the Washington National Cathedral. The following is the text of the sermon.)

Imperishable Inheritance

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 ESV
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
1 Peter 1:3-12 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. ...
John 6:37-40
Jesus said “Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.”

Kibben 1Rear Admiral Margaret Grun Kibben, CHC, USN, Chief of Navy ChaplainsA very good afternoon to all of you: members of the Prince family, representatives from the World War One Centennial Commission, and nos amis français. You have traveled from all corners of the world to give honor and tribute to Lieutenant Norman Prince, to share with his family the heritage from which they are privileged to have come, but perhaps most important, to remember all those who gave their lives in the war to end all wars, in sacrifice for the greater good. In this we are all inheritors, in as much as it is the legacy that they left which allows us the freedom to gather, which has preserved our countries’ liberty, and which has ensured that we maintain the privilege to worship freely the One who sustains us in the face of adversity and who remains with us throughout the ages.

In his 1896 Memorial Sermon, the Reverend Dr. John W. Sayers, Chaplain, Dept. of Pennsylvania, Grand Army of the Republic, shared this sentiment:

“Human life is of short duration. Of all our years but few may be devoted to the accomplishment of great purposes. ...

It is, therefore, not so much what men may accomplish in this life as it is what their work may do for the world after they are dead. ...

the good lives always to a noble purpose and keeps the world slowly moving toward the right.”

It would be 20 years later, when the few, whom we honor today, demonstrated their devotion to the accomplishment of great and noble purposes. The Great War which began as a local disturbance eventually spread into a worldwide struggle. And as war in Europe raged, it intensified through the use of dangerous new weapons which took over fields of livelihood and tranquility and turned them into desolate, trenched moonscapes littered with corpses and wreckage. But as horrified as Americans were with the ravages of war, they remained neutral, isolating themselves from any involvement.

Read more: Imperishable Inheritance: Sermon at the Memorial Service for Norman Prince and the Lafayette...

Four Questions for Commissioner Debra Anderson

"It’s important to remember all who serve our country"

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

Debra Anderson mug 300Commissioner Debra AndersonDebra Anderson was recently appointed as a Commissioner of the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). She is the Quartermaster General of the VFW.

Tell us about your background, and your military career.

I attended the University of Missouri-Columbia on an ROTC scholarship, where I majored in economics. In May 1980 upon graduation, I was commissioned in the Army as an AG (Human Resources) Second Lieutenant. My military assignments included Nuremberg/Furth, Germany; Fort Harrison, Ind.; Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Leavenworth, Kan.; and Fort McPherson, Ga. I deployed as part of the division headquarters with the 1st Infantry Division during Desert Storm in December 1990. I earned a master of science in systems management from the University of Southern California while in the Army.

 

 

 

Read more: Four Questions for Commissioner Debra Anderson

Remembering, Honoring First Americans to Fight, Die in World War One

By Jim Garamone
Via DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19, 2016 — Norman Prince’s tomb is steps away from that of President Woodrow Wilson in the National Cathedral here.

DoD story artNorman Prince was a founder of the Lafayette Escadrille, a group of American pilots who were part of the French air force during World War I. Library of Congress photo In 1916, when Wilson was running for re-election as president under the slogan “He Kept Us Out of War,” Norman Prince was wearing the uniform of France and flying for the Lafayette Escadrille.

It was the second year of what was then known as the Great War, and Prince, a Harvard-trained lawyer, journeyed to France to offer his services against the Germans. It was the year of the Somme, the year of Verdun. Millions of soldiers on both sides were dying on the fields of France.

Prince became one of them Oct. 15, 1916.

100 Years Later

On Oct. 14, 2016, the National Cathedral and the United States World War I Commemoration Commission hosted a memorial service for French Air Force Lt. Norman Prince. His crypt is near the altar of the huge edifice and is fronted by a marble statue of him.

The Prince family came out in force to remember their relative. Also attending were French and American airmen -- joined together by the sacrifice of the young man and others like him. Prince never wore an American uniform, but he could be called one of the fathers of the United States Air Force. He was one of those who suggested the French air force field a squadron of Americans who came to the country to fight.

Dangerous Profession

And fight he did. Prince participated in 122 aerial engagements, shooting down five enemy aircraft, said Navy Chaplain (Rear Adm.) Margaret Grun Kibben, who delivered the homily at the service. He came from a privileged background, “but flying was in his blood,” she said.

Read more: Remembering, Honoring First Americans to Fight, Die in World War I

VFW’s Quartermaster General Debra Anderson Sworn In as a Commissioner to the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission

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

Swearing in 500VFW Quartermaster General Debra Anderson (left) is sworn-in as the newest Commissioner on the United States World War One Centennial Commission by Brandon Boyd, General Services Administration Deputy Director of the Office of Human Resource Services. The ceremony took place at VFW Headquarters in Kansas City, MO.Ms. Debra Anderson was sworn in on Monday, October 17th, 2016, as the newest Commissioner to the United States World War One Centennial Commission. She was appointed to the position by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) organization, where Ms. Anderson is the Quartermaster General. The swearing-in took place in a small ceremony hosted by the VFW National Headquarters in Kansas City.

The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission is a Congressional Commission, created to provide public outreach, education programs, and commemorative events for America’s involvement in World War One. Congress also authorized the Commission to create the new National World War One Memorial in Washington DC. Centennial Commission members are appointed by Congress, by the President of the United States, and by the American Legion and the VFW.

A special guest for the ceremony was Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-Missouri), who was an original sponsor for the bill that created the Centennial Commission. He stated "This is a great day for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and for the World War I Centennial Commission. Debra Anderson's leadership in these two outstanding organizations will bring teamwork and achievement, in our efforts to honor these veterans who went before us."

Read more: VFW’s Quartermaster General Debra Anderson Sworn In as a Commissioner to the U.S. World War I...

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#COUNTDOWNTOVETERANSDAY update for October 17, 2016

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

More great effort from our remarkable partners!

On Facebook, we have been able to gather over 1,300 #CountdownToVeteransDay postings, bringing us some 902,000 Audience Impressions.

On Twitter, our collective efforts have yielded some 1,379 Posts by 287 Partner Users, earning a total Audience of 2,564,888 Impressions.

Thank you for your great help in generating awareness for our Veterans!

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

 

 

Four Questions for Robert Cozzolino of PAFA

"So many compelling personal stories for visitors to discover"

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

Robert Cozzolino is Exhibition Curator for the upcoming Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts art exhibit on World War One, entitled "World War I and American Art".

Tell us a little about the upcoming PAFA exhibit on World War I.

Robert CozzolinoRobert CozzolinoThe exhibition is the first to examine the rich and varied relationship American artists had with the war. It examines the responses by artists working in a wide range of materials to the war from beginning to end and in the years immediately afterward. There are also two artists included who are working today and who have found World War I to be a compelling subject that relates to the current cultural climate -- Mary Reid Kelley and Debra Priestly.

The exhibition includes works by well-known artists whose wartime work has been discussed before: George Bellows, Marsden Hartley, Childe Hassam, and Horace Pippin. One of the highlights is that the Imperial War Museum has generously agreed to lend John Singer Sargent's monumental painting "Gassed" -- a painting that has rarely been seen in the U.S.

But the show's most significant contribution is presenting artwork contemporary with the war that has not previously been considered in this context. For instance, modernists such as John Marin and Georgia O'Keeffe made abstractions that on further consideration are direct responses to war imagery. Artists who are relative unknowns will also shine in this exhibition. Claggett Wilson, who fought in some of the bloodiest American battles of the war, left behind an extraordinary group of watercolors about his first-hand war experience. I think they will be the great discovery of the project.

The exhibition was deliberately timed to coincide with the centenary of the U.S. entering the war. As far as I know it is one of very few projects of this scale anywhere in the U.S. to focus on the war. We have also published a catalogue, which includes many essays and images.

Read more: Four Questions for Robert Cozzolino at PAFA

MacArthur Memorial hosts a World War One Symposium

MacArthur Memorial sympoaium 2016 500

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

On 21-22 October, the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk VA hosted a remarkable World War I symposium, entitled “1916: Sex, Planes, and Disasters”.

Several noted speakers were featured at the event. Some of the topics discussed include the Brusilov Offensive, aerial bombardment during the war, the United States in 1916, the Battle of the Somme, the British Army, The Battle of Verdun, and more.

Dr. Monique Seefried, the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission’s Lead Commissioner for International Partnerships, helped organize the event, and acted as the Host/EmCee. Dr Seefried is the President of the Croix Rouge Farm Memorial Foundation.

Presenters on the first day included Steve Suddaby who gave a presentation entitled “From Venice to London: Aerial Bombing in 1916,” Carl Bobrow whose presentation was entitled “Russian Air Assets in the Brusilov Offensive,”  Robert Powell who gave a presentation entitled “Flying Vintage Aircraft.” and Dana Lombardy whose presentation was entitled “Sex..and Spies. Oh My!”

Read more: MacArthur Memorial hosts a World War One Symposium

Memorial Held to Commemorate Norman Prince and the Lafayette Escadrille
at the National Cathedral in Washington DC

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

Terry L JohnsonTerry L. Johnson, historian & author, "Valiant Volunteers: a Novel Based on the Lafayette Escadrille" reads a passage during the Norman Prince ceremony at the National Cathedral.A memorial service to honor World War I aviation hero, Norman Prince, and to honor the Lafayette Escadrille that he helped to create, was held on Friday, October 14th. The ceremony was held on the centennial of Norman Prince’s tragic death.

Norman Prince, a trained pilot and a graduate of Harvard University, was one of seven founding members of the Lafayette Escadrille, and he flew dozens of air combat missions in support of the Allied Forces. During a combat mission on October 12th, 1916, Norman’s aircraft was involved in a crash, and Prince died as a result of his injuries on October 15th 1916.

Upon his death he was promoted to sous-lieutenant, and he was awarded the Legion of Honor. Prince was also awarded the Medaille Militaire and the Croix de Guerre for his service. His body is buried in his personal tomb at the National Cathedral. His body is now interred at the National Cathedral, in a chapel that was donated by his family.

Read more: Memorial Held to Commemorate Norman Prince and the Lafayette Escadrille at the National Cathedral...

Long entombed at National Cathedral, a forgotten hero of WW1 is recalled

By Michael E. Ruane
Via the Washington Post

Twenty years after Norman Prince was killed in World War I, his body was brought from France on a luxurious ocean liner, transported on a special railroad car to Washington, and lay overnight in repose in Union Station.

Norman PrinceNorman Prince

Later, it was placed in an elaborate stone tomb his parents had built inside Washington National Cathedral, at the foot of a seven-foot statue of him by a famous French sculptor.

The former head of the U.S. Army spoke at the dedication.

Today, visitors seldom stop at the crypt of the young aviator, with its carved scenes from the Great War and the flags of the United States and France on either side. The hero is all but forgotten.

On Friday, October 14, the cathedral will host a service marking the centennial of Prince’s death and recall a founder of a dashing band of American pilots known as the Lafayette Escadrille.

One of the most famous outfits of the war, it was made up of adventurers, barnstormers and the sons of American tycoons — men who were drawn to the thrill of aviation and a chance to fight in the war.

Read more: Long entombed at National Cathedral, a forgotten hero of WWI is recalled

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#COUNTDOWNTOVETERANSDAY update for October 11, 2016

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

Our Countdown To Veterans Day awareness campaign continues to charge ahead!

To date, on Twitter, we have had some 204 participants post some 1,005 tweets, which have reached an overall potential audience of 1,927,273 people.

On Facebook this week, posts and reposts by such friends as the Honor Flight Network, and Museum of American Speed, have brought us a potential audience of 1,220,000 people.

Huge thank you for all your help!

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

My Search for Greayer Clover

By Courtland Jindra

Greayer Clover gravesiteGreayer CloverLos Angeles County lost over four hundred fifty servicemen and women in World War One. When researching LA's commemoration of the war in the interwar years I found numerous memorials. However, with all the names of the dead and many thousands of others who served from the area (including two Medal of Honor recipients), a single name dots SoCal. Even if one doesn't catch all the references, Greayer Clover pops up everywhere. Who was this guy?

Greayer's father, Samuel had been a LA-based newspaperman who apparently waited to move to Virginia till the kids were done with High School to run a paper there. Probably because of his father Greayer was able to publish several articles about his wartime service in newspapers and magazines. After he died the family gathered all they could on Grubby and packaged it together as a tome for posterity. A Stop at Suzanne's is a very poignant look at how one young man lived his war time experience.

Clover was a graduate of Los Angeles High School, where he was a star tennis player. He won the state title his senior year, and even won a round in the US National Championships, which eventually would become the modern day US Open. From Los Angeles he went to Stanford for a year before transferring to Yale.

Read more: My Search for Greayer Clover

Those who served: Memorial to mark World War One

By Vanessa Seward
Via the Democrat-Gazette

Every teacher can spot certain students who will go on to do great things, but even I could not have guessed that our own Joe Weishaar, of Fayetteville, Ark., would be chosen to design a national memorial to the millions of Americans who served during World War 1.

Weishaar mugJoe WeishaarFor 17 years I have served as a Gifted and Talented Facilitator at McNair Middle School in the Fayetteville Public Schools. Twelve years ago, Joe was my student in my gifted class.

I clearly remember him as a serious, attentive, sweet student. Imagine my pride when he was announced as the winner of an international design competition earlier this year! Joe's World War I memorial design beat out more than 360 submissions from over 20 countries and now, on the cusp of the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entering World War I, he will have a chance to honor the millions of Americans who served in that war.

Building a national World War I memorial is an incredibly important undertaking for Joe, for our veterans, for our state and our country.

There were 71,862 young Arkansans, many younger than Joe's 26 years, who served in World War I. Arkansans Marcellus Chiles and Oscar Miller earned the Medal of Honor in World War I, and John Henry Pruitt, a proud Marine from Fallsville, is one of a precious few who received the Medal of Honor twice. On the home front, people of all ages helped in the war effort.

Read more: Those who served: Memorial to mark World War One editorial

Eventful trip to Arkansas for Memorial Concept Designer Joe Weishaar

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

Arkansas Oct 2016 2 of 3 500World War One Memorial designer, Joe Weishaar (L), was hosted this past week by the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, in Bentonville Arkansas, as part of their Spotlight Talk series. He discussed his work, the Memorial, and WW1.Joe Weishaar, concept designer of the National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park, was invited to his home state of Arkansas the first week of October, to be a guest speaker at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s Spotlight Talk series. He was joined onstage by Dean of the University of Arkansas Fay School of Architecture, Peter Mackeith. Together, they talked about the the school, the Commission, and the new World War One Memorial.

While there, Joe was was also able to connect with his former elementary school teacher, Vanessa Seward, and he visited her classroom to talk to her students. Ms. Seward has been a supporter of the new World War I Memorial, and recently wrote an Op Ed piece in favor of the memorial that ran in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, and can be found here.

The WW1CC’s Chief Development Officer, Roger Fisk, joined Joe on the trip, to help tell people about the new memorial. Together, they met with business community leaders, and they also appeared on a radio talk show for the local NPR affiliate, KUAF Public Radio 91.3 FM, discussing the Centennial Commission’s efforts.

Read more: Eventful trip to Arkansas for Memorial Concept Designer Joe Weishaar

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