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World War I Centennial News



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. 



WWI quilt made in 1918 connects Eastern Shore of Virginia to England 

By Carol Vaughn
via the Salisbury Daily Times newspaper (VA) on the web site

A quilt made during World War I for an American Red Cross chapter on Virginia's Eastern Shore was found recently, tucked away in storage in a British museum.

0a5131db 54ac 4103 bd65 dee90c05790f pungoteague quiltThis quilt, made in Accomack during World War I to be sent to a European hospital, was discovered in a British museum in 2012. (Photo: David March image)The quilt was made to be sent to a wartime hospital in Europe.

The Pungoteague Quilt was designed and stitched by Mrs. S.K. Martin of Harborton in 1918.

It bears the names of nearly 700 people who made donations — many of whom still have descendants living on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

The man who found the quilt in Great Britain created a website about it — and he wants to know more about the people whose names are on it.

The quilt was intended to be sent to a hospital in France during the war. It is not known how it ended up in the Imperial War Museum in England.

The quilt, about 64-by-88 inches and made of cotton and calico, is made up of rows and columns of red crosses, surrounded by names, and sometimes addresses, in cursive script written with a marker pen. There are 694 names inscribed on the quilt, including President and Mrs. Woodrow Wilson's, prominently displayed in a block near the center.

One of the blocks bears this inscription:

"This quilt was made by Mrs. S.K. Martin of Harborton, Accomac County, Virginia and presented to the Pungoteague Branch of the Eastern Shore Chapter of American Red Cross, with the sincere wish that our Virginia boys and any others may find inscribed thereon the names of many friends deeply interested in their welfare."

Webster Martin, 85, of Harborton is the great-grandson of the quilt's maker. The Martin family has been in Virginia virtually since the colony's founding.

"She was Ella Susan Smith from Sluytkill Neck," across the creek from Harborton, Martin said of his ancestor, of whom he has many memories from his youth.

Mrs. Martin's quilting frame — likely the one she used for the Pungoteague Quilt, among others — is still in the family, having been stored in the attic of an outbuilding at Rose Lawn, the family home in Harborton.

Read more: WWI quilt made in 1918 connects Eastern Shore of Virginia to England


Bronze Statue Honoring First Black Fighter Pilot Unveiled in Georgia

By Tanasia Kenney
via the Atlanta Black Star web siteDirector of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission

Eugene Bullard isn’t a household name, but his inspiring story of bravery, valor, and perseverance is surely worth telling.

A bronze statue honoring the Columbus, Georgia, native was finally unveiled on Wednesday before a cheering crowd of descendants, U.S. service members, French officials and other guests, The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.

pjimage 2019 10 09T125335.161Eugene Bullard fled the Jim Crow South as a child, joined a band a gypsies and then stowed away on a German ship to Europe. (Photos: WMAZ 13 / video screen shot and Wiki Commons)Bullard, the child of a former slave who fled the Jim Crow South after witnessing the near lynching of his father, would go on to fight for the French Foreign Legion in World War I. He managed to have a little fun along the way, boxing professionally and drumming for a jazz band in Paris. He even rubbed elbows with the likes of trumpeter Louis Armstrong.

His journey as a stowaway across the pond to Europe was just the start of his incredible legacy. A war hero, Bullard received France’s Croix de Guerre for his valor at the Battle of Verdun and later joined its national air service in 1916 to become the first Black fighter pilot.

Now the state that he fled more than 100 years ago is honoring him on his birthday with a gleaming bronze statue.

“I’m just so glad to live to see his state — the state that he ran from — recognize his greatness, and call its native son home,” said Ms. Harriett Bullard, one of Bullard’s descendants.

Harriet Was among the 20 descendants who attended the unveiling ceremony Wednesday at the Museum of Aviation in Robins Air Force Base near Warner Robins, Georgia, per the AJC. Officials with Georgia’s WWI Centennial Commission pulled away a blue cloth to reveal the 6-foot-3-inch bronze memorial honoring the man fittingly dubbed “The Black Swallow of Death.”

According to, “Bullard quickly became known for flying into dangerous situations often with a pet monkey. He amassed a distinguished record, flying twenty combat missions [and] downing at least one German plane.”

Vietnam War vet and Centennial Commission member Rick Elder called Bullard a “true hero.”

“For him to be standing out there — now we’re finally getting to the point that we have honored him in a proper way.”

Read more: Bronze Statue Honoring First Black Fighter Pilot Unveiled in Georgia


Submarine Chaser 245A World War I-era Submarine Chaser similar to Submarine Chaser 245. 

‘Human nostrils have their limitations’: Why a WWI ship had to retreat from a port visit

By Jonathan Croyle
Tribune News Service via the Stars & Stripes newspaper web site

By the autumn of 1919, the First World War had been over for almost a year.

But that did not mean that the American military was not already thinking about the next struggle. The armed services needed more recruits and the top brass needed to think of new ways to get more men to enlist.

The U.S. Navy had an idea.

Why not send some of the heroic boats of the Great War on tour, stopping at cities and towns to drum up some enthusiasm about enlisting?

To Upstate New York the Navy sent Submarine Chaser 245 a 110-foot long ship under the command of Ensign Martin Weisman.

During the war, the vessel had been attached to the Italian fleet in the Adriatic Sea and was used against the Austrian fleet. It carried three stars on her smokestacks, indicating that her crew had destroyed three submarines during the fighting.

Staffed by a crew of 32 men during the war, the boat had a three-inch gun on its forward deck and in the rear was a “Y” gun, in which charges of TNT were dropped onto enemy submarines.

In July, Submarine Chaser 245 toured Lake Champlain and hundreds of people in Plattsburgh came to see it.

In September, 5,000 people saw it in Schenectady and enjoyed the “moving pictures” that accompanied the ship detailing the use and operation of the vessel and showcasing the daily life of a sailor.

On October 6, the ship arrived in Rome via the Barge Canal with crowds on shore waiting for it. Many toured the vessel to get a “look at the craft that gave a good account of itself during the recent war with Germany.”

Then Submarine Chaser 245 turned its sights for Syracuse, where the ship expected to dock in the heart of downtown, at Clinton Square. It was to be there on October 11 for an undetermined length of time, before it moved west towards Buffalo.

But there was a problem.

Read more: ‘Human nostrils have their limitations’: Why a WWI ship had to retreat from a port visit



WWI stamps get seal of approval from vet’s daughter in Lincoln, NE

By Dennis Buckley
via the Lincoln Journal Star newspaper (NE) web site

Every postage stamp Charlotte Harper affixes to an envelope reminds her of her father’s military service a century ago.

5d9c8fd9e8f1a.imageCharlotte Harper, a 93-year-old Lincoln woman and the only surviving child of Martin and Winnie Layton, says the “World War I – Turning the Tide” postal stamps provide fond memories of her father’s service a century ago. DENNIS BUCKLEY PHOTOAnd for someone who’s always felt that wartime veterans never seem to get as much recognition as they deserve, that is a very satisfying feeling indeed.

When the U.S. Postal Service unveiled the “World War I – Turning the Tide” stamps last year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, the stamps tugged at the heartstrings of the 93-year-old Lincoln woman. Charlotte is the lone surviving child of Martin and Winnie Layton of Hastings.

“I’ve never felt that veterans of that war ever got the recognition that they so richly deserved,” said Charlotte. “When I heard these stamps were coming out, I said, ‘Wow … finally, a perk!’ Dad would love these.”

Often overlooked

Charlotte Harper has always been proud of her father’s record of service in World War I. But there was always something that dampened her enthusiasm: a feeling that WWI veterans were underappreciated.

Historians agree. They say a majority of the more than 2 million Americans who fought in the war a century ago struggled to readapt to normal life. They returned to a life of Prohibition, complicated social attitudes toward war veterans, and financial struggles. Most received only a few weeks’ wages after returning to home soil.

Martin Layton was always reluctant to share much of his military past with Charlotte and his four other children. Charlotte, now a 93-year-old Lincoln resident and the sole survivor among five daughters born to Martin and Winnie Layton, said her father enlisted at age 19. He served at Fort Preble, Maine, and later with the Battery E 72nd Artillery in Paris.

Grateful for safety

Charlotte was grateful that her father’s military experience allowed him to experience faraway places – and to return home safe and well. Several other members of the Layton family who also served in WWI were not as fortunate.

“Two of Dad’s brothers also served in World War I,” she said. “Uncle John was killed in an armored tank – and is buried in France – and uncle Frank developed malaria while in the service.”

Statisticians report WWI claimed the lives of 117,465 Americans during the roughly one year of involvement.

Martin Layton lived in the Hastings area, working on farms, selling horses, and later working as a gas station attendant for a filling station owned by Terry Carpenter, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and a 22-year member of the Nebraska Legislature. Martin Layton died in 1969.

Read more: WWI stamps get seal of approval from vet’s daughter in Lincoln


AR 310209940Diana Vice, with the Daughters of the American Revolution, speaks next to a newly placed headstone over Leonard Inman's grave Thursday in Lafayette. The World War I veteran was buried in an unmarked grave in 1973. 

African American WWI veteran finally receives permanent headstone 

By the Associated Press, via the Indiana Journal-Gazette newspaper

LAFAYETTE – A black soldier who was buried in an unmarked Indiana grave is getting proper recognition for his military service in World War I nearly a half-century after his death.

The memorial for Leonard Inman, who died in 1973, Saturday at Spring Vale Cemetery in Lafayette and featured a 21-gun salute, the retiring of colors and taps by the American Legion Post 492, the Journal and Courier reported.

Inman, whose name is spelled “Inmon” in the 1919 Tippecanoe County World War I Honor Roll book, served during the war in the 809th Pioneer Infantry, Company C.

The General de Lafayette Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution has installed a headstone for Inman, which the cemetery paid for in commemoration.

Born in 1893 in Knoxville, Tennessee, Inman moved with his family to Lafayette in 1908. He enlisted into service 10 years later. As an African American, he was not permitted to engage in direct combat.

Since the American military was not desegregated until 1948, Inman likely served under French command, according to the chapter's research. Following the war, he returned to Lafayette and worked for the Murdock family, one of the well-known families living in the area at the time. In 1943, he started working for Alcoa to assist with the war effort in producing aluminum, staying there until 1958. He had no children and died Nov. 25, 1973, in his home after suffering an apparent heart attack.

Diana Vice, the chapter's vice regent, said she discovered that Inman had no headstone after purchasing the honor roll book that only includes a small section, in the very back, delegated to the county's 18 black soldiers. She contacted the county's Veterans Services office, which paid for the stone.

“We just can't let his memory be forgotten,” Vice said. “I just think that we need to honor them. (African American soldiers are) relegated to the back of this history book in 1919. I felt like he deserved one, and his memory needs to be kept alive and honored for his service and sacrifice.”

Read more: African American WWI veteran finally receives permanent headstone


The Marines’ Bloodiest Day of WWI and Two Medals of Honor for Corporal John Henry Pruitt

By Patrick K. O’Donnell
via the web site

The first week of October marked the 101st anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps’ bloodiest day and one of its most important battles of WW I: Blanc Mont. Several Marines earned Medals of Honor on the blood-soaked ridge, including Corporal John Henry Pruitt.

Corporal John Henry Pruitt 640x480Corporal John Henry PruittPruitt served under Major General John A. Lejeune, the commander of the 2nd Division and 4th Marine Brigade. Several days before the battle, Lejeune stared at the large relief map sprawled out in front of him. His eyes focused on the ridgeline where the Germans had constructed an ostensibly impregnable fortress—Blanc Mont. Hundreds of machine-gun nests, an intricate maze of trenches, concrete blockhouses, artillery pieces, and tangled masses of barbed wire awaited any force foolish enough to attack. For years, the French Army had launched one forlorn assault after another on the fortress resulting in a bloodbath—thousands of men killed, gored attempting to scale the sloping limestone rock.

The tough commander, “a Marine’s Marine” later hailed as “one of the greatest of all leathernecks,” was one of only two Marine officers to hold a divisional Army command. The 2nd was one of the finest divisions in the Allied armies. Marshal Foch, noting the 2nd’s élan and battlefield prowess at Battles of Belleau Wood and Soissons, had requested the division be placed under the temporary command of the Fourth French Army, which was led by the grizzled, one-armed General Henri Gouraud.

Gouraud explained to Lejeune that the French Army had stalled in front of the high ground and his men were exhausted. He had earmarked the 2nd for the formidable task of breaking through the powerful German defenses. Gouraud’s piercing eyes and bushy handlebar mustache seemed almost to pop off his face as he emotionally placed his only hand on the German fortress atop Blanc Mont Ridge on the map.

“General,” he declared, “this position is the key of all the German defenses of this sector, including the whole Rheims Massif. If this ridge can be taken, the Germans will be obliged to retreat along the whole front thirty kilometers to the river Aisne. Do you think your division could effect its capture?” Without hesitation, Lejeune informed Gouraud that the 2nd could seize the stronghold.

The 2nd Division and John Pruitt were about to enter one of the most perilous kill zones on the Western Front. The various Army and Marine units within the 2nd Division would converge on Mont Blanc like two giant arrowheads. If they survived the onslaught, the men would link up on the crest.

Read more: The Marines’ Bloodiest Day of WWI and Two Medals of Honor for Corporal John Henry Pruitt


TV Over MindScene from the first trailer for the upcoming World War I epic 1917.

Why Don’t We Get More World War I Movies?

By Brian Hadsell
via the TV Over Mind (TVOM) web site

So as I was sitting in the theater this last week, waiting for my movie to start up in full, the usual string of trailers for the usual kind of fall movies landed on something interesting: a particularly peculiar item that’s been on my mind a lot lately. Namely, it was the trailer for 1917, Bond director Sam Mendes’ upcoming movie about a World War I era race against time for one lowly soldier to save not only his brother, but entire legions of troops against a pending slaughter.,

The thing is, though, that it was sandwiched between the usual sort of World War II era movies that we’ve been forced to sit through pretty much since the war itself was still ongoing. In fact, looking ahead to the rest of the year, you have Midway, the Roland Emmerich-directed movie about the Battle of Midway, shot very much in his Bay-adjacent style as to suggest a markedly better version of Bay’s own Pearl Harbor (2001). There’s also the awards heavyweight A Hidden Life, Terrence Malick’s feature about a conscientious objector in Nazi-controlled Austria. There’s also Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi’s incendiary satire about a young boy whose imaginary friend is none other than Adolf Hitler. And if Google’s to be believed, we’ve got another half-dozen or so WWII-set movies coming out over the final three months of the year.

And yet there’s only one WWI movie, at least as far as I’m able to tell: only one 1917. The next best thing we have coming up is The Kingsman (2020), the rather unfortunate-looking, grimdark Kingsman (2014) prequel that simply seems to be using the time period as a narrative jumping off point to its post-war spy adventure, with essentially nothing OF that war in the meat of the film. And looking back, I can’t even tell you the last major release I saw set in the so-called War to End All Wars. I guess we had the documentary They Shall Not Grow Old (2018) that snuck into theaters last year like a thief in the night (I certainly wasn’t able to see that one in my local theater). I guess there was Steven Spielberg’s War Horse (2011) at the start of the decade, although you’ll be forgiven if, like everybody else, you forgot that that ho-hum war drama existed in the first place (Lord knows I did). Before that was Flyboys (2006), which apparently only exists for history teachers to show in class every so often. Oh, and I guess Lawrence of Arabia (1962) got a special rerelease as a Fathom Event a little while back, although to what degree we can count a nearly sixty-year-old movie is anybody’s guess.

The simple fact of the matter is that Hollywood is not very interested in World War I as a filmic backdrop, which seems really weird when you stop and think about it.

Read more: Why Don’t We Get More World War I Movies?


Canfield, OH man receives lost military award over 100 years after great uncle died 

By Rod Cowan
via the WBKN 27 First News television station (OH) web site

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – A World War I veteran died overseas in France but Thursday night, he got an award that has been lost for years.

In Canfield, a great-nephew received his great uncle’s Purple Heart almost 101 years to the day he died in the war.

Joseph Knecht never knew his great uncle, who shares the same name.

Thanks to Purple Hearts Reunited, he and his family received a Purple Heart and something almost as valuable — closure.

“I received a phone call out of the blue, which was a big surprise,” Knecht said.

He was too young to know his great uncle but, through some research, learned about him and his service to our country during WWI.

“So I actually did some research, talked to my mom,” Knecht said. “She said she had a box of things that belonged to him. Letters from home, letters he sent to his parents, the obituary.”

He also looked into the nonprofit organization on the other end of the line, Purple Hearts Reunited.

“When they explained who they were and what they did, it was quite impressive,” Knecht said.

Joseph Knecht, from Hartford, Indiana, enlisted in the U.S. Army on March 29, 1918.

Six months later on Sept. 29, he was killed in action in France during one of the final offensives in war.

Read more: Canfield man receives lost military award over 100 years after great uncle died


5d9667e2652e2.imageThe Doughboy Memorial in Martinsburg, WV will be refurbished and moved to another location. 

 Berkeley Co. Council in WV agrees to refurbish World War I statue

By Breanna Francis
via The Journal newspaper (Martinsburg, WV) web site

MARTINSBURG — The Berkeley County Council moved Thursday to take steps in refurbishing and relocating a World War I memorial statue that currently resides on the old federal courthouse property in Martinsburg.

Councilperson Elaine Mauck brought the issue of the World War I Doughboy Statue before the council, saying it had come to her attention that the old courthouse will be going up for sale or auction in the coming weeks and in doing so, the statue could potentially go with the property.

“The Smithsonian said we are the owner and administrator of that statue,” Mauck said. “If that is sold, the new owner might chose to move or change that statue; however, Mr. (Steve) Catlett has had people come forward who want to clean the statue up and move it to War Memorial Park.”

Catlett, executive director of Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks and Recreation, said he was previously approached by the Women’s Auxiliary from the American Legion and requested the statue be moved to War Memorial Park because it would be a “better fit.”

“There was some opposition, but most people did like the idea of seeing it moved,” Catlett said. “To prevent taking the chance that its sold and the new owner take it down or remove it, we should take steps to protect it. This could include sending it to a place in Pittsburgh that can refurbish it. That could be a $10,000 to 15,000 project. And, all of the names of those who served WWI in Berkeley County are listed on plaques on the statue, but according to the historical society, there are 30 names missing. So we would also have to get into correcting the plaques.”

Read more: Berkeley Co. Council in WV agrees to refurbish World War I statue


Friends and family pay their respects to WWI veteran in PA

By Bruce Gordon
via the Fox 29 Philadelphia television station (PA) web site

WEST PHILADELPHIA - A memorial service was held Monday to honor Sgt. Thomas Fearn, a soldier who was killed in action in WWI. His body laid in an unmarked grave until his relatives were able to locate the grave this year and place a marker.

By the time they gathered at the Old Cathedral Cemetery, Thomas Joseph Fearn Jr. had been dead for more than a century, but for his ancestors, it’s never too late to pay your respects.

“Great. It was a search of five years and it was fruitful. It was a warm feeling," Dr. William Francis Fearn told FOX 29's Bruce Gordon.

Thomas Fearn was a 26-year-old Philadelphian, a newly minted sergeant, who was part of the scantily-trained division of American Expeditionary Forces sent into the Meuse Argonne Offensive in Sept. 1918. It was the last great battle of WWI and it was brutal combat.

“So rather than learning lessons in a consequence-free training environment, the Germans made the infantrymen pay for their lack of experience," Lt. Col. Ryan Liebhaber explained.

Fearn was mortally wounded on the first day of battle. He died the next day, but the mystery was whatever became of his remains.

Dr. William Francis Fearn, a South Jersey doctor and the son of Fearn’s younger cousin, began to search without much luck. Then, Nancy Schaff, who heads up the descendent group of Fearn’s old unit the 314th, did some digging of her own and found an Inquirer newspaper obituary showing Fearn’s remains had come back from France three years after his death and were buried at Old Cathedral in 1921.

"We want people today and all generations to understand that we never forget our veterans. It doesn’t matter if it was 100 years ago or if it was yesterday," Schaff explained.

Read more: Friends and family pay their respects to WWI veteran in PA

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