Governor Larry Hogan Issues Proclamation for Bells to be Tolled 11/11 to Honor WWI Veterans
via the Maryland.gov web site
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today issued a proclamation calling for bells to be tolled in Maryland on November 11, 2018 at 11:00 am in remembrance of veterans of World War I. The proclamation coincides with a call by the United States World War I Centennial Commission for all Americans to participate in a national tolling of bells.
“Over 62,000 Marylanders served honorably during World War I, making incredible sacrifices to bring justice and freedom to all people,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Today, on the anniversary of the Hundred Days Offensive marking the beginning of the end of World War I, I am proud to issue this proclamation calling on all Marylanders to join me on November 11th at 11:00 am in participating in the bell tolling to honor our veterans who served in the Great War.”
Maryland Governor Larry HoganSunday, November 11, 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice which ended World War I. To commemorate the occasion, in 2015 Governor Larry Hogan created the World War I Centennial Commission through an executive order to create ways for the state’s residents and its visitors to remember, commemorate, and learn about the meaning of World War I and the role of Marylanders during that time.
In addition, the commission is tasked with developing activities and events to recognize the anniversary. Under the leadership of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, the Commission has worked towards preserving and promoting the history of all 62,000 Marylanders who served in World War I, including 11,000 African Americans and 6,000 women.
“We thank Governor Hogan for joining states across the nation in tolling bells to honor veterans of World War I,” said David Craig, Director of the World War I Centennial Commission. “Marylanders served a significant role in the Great War with nearly 2,000 giving the ultimate sacrifice, and the Maryland World War I Centennial Commission is committed to honoring the sacrifices of our ancestors.”
“On behalf of the Maryland World War I Centennial Commission, I would like to thank Governor Hogan for his continued support of our efforts to recognize the heroes of the Great War,” said Joseph Suarez, Chair of the Maryland World War I Centennial Commission. “Since the establishment of our Commission by Executive Order in 2015, we have committed to telling the story of Marylanders who served and sacrificed both on the battlefield and on the home front during the Great War. The solemnity of the bell tolling that is taking place across the nation and in every town and community in Maryland is a reminder of that human sacrifice that helped to change the world.”
Read more: Governor Larry Hogan Issues Proclamation for Bells to be Tolled November 11 to Honor World War I...
Lost Purple Heart returned to family of WWI vet 100 years later
By Matt Saintsing
via the ConnectingVets.com web site
It’s said to be the military award nobody wants. That’s because a Purple Heart is earned only through the bloodshed of war, which is also why the medal is so highly respected by all who see it pinned on anyone’s chest.
(l to r) United States World War I Centennial Commission Veteran Liaison David Hamon assists, as grandson Joseph Hish IV and son Joseph Mark Hish III are presented the Purple Heart Medal earned by Private First Class Joseph Hish, who was wounded by mustard gas during World War I. (Photo by Matt Saintsing, ConnectingVets.com)Over 1.8 million Purple Hearts have been awarded to American service members injured in combat, but over time, these medals can turn up lost, stolen or otherwise misplaced. That's why Purple Hearts Reunited has made it their mission to reconnect these symbols of sacrifice to the medal's rightful owner, or surviving families.
Through research, Zachariah Fike, the group’s founder, is said to be able to track anyone down, especially if it means returning a long lost honor. A ceremony in Washington, D.C Tuesday, proved just that when they presented seven Purple Hearts to surviving family members of World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam veterans and another to a living veteran of the Iraq War.
Private First Class Joseph Hish, was one of those honored.
He fought in World War I with Company A, 341st Machine Gun Battalion, 177th Brigade of the 89th Infantry Division, and fought during the Meuse-Argonne offensive, a 47-day battle that lasted from the end of September 1918 to Armistice Day, November 11. Pfc. Hish earned the Purple Heart when his unit was attacked with sulfur mustard, commonly known as mustard gas.
Hish survived World War I and lived a full life until he passed away on December 29, 1965, in Sioux City, Iowa. He was 70 years old.
Read more: Lost Purple Heart returned to family of WWI vet 100 years later
Ceremony at Flanders Field American Cemetery in Belgium to honor World War I American dead buried there.
Ceremony Honors World War I Heroes at Flanders Field American Cemetery in Belgium
By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission
On August 5th, 2018, the U.S. Army Center for Military History, and the Army National Guard, conducted a remembrance ceremony at the Flanders Field American Cemetery in Belgium to honor America’s war dead from World War I.
Lieutenant General Timothy J. Kadavy, Director of the Army National Guard, acted as host. Additional remarks were made by Mr. Charles R. Bowery, Jr., Executive Director of the U.S. Army Center of Military History.
Three of the United States World War I Centennial Commission commissioners in attendance at the Flanders Fields ceremony: (front, left to right) Commissioner Jerry Hester; Commissioner Tom Moe; Commission Vice Chair Edwin Fountain.Several United States World War 1 Centennial Commission commissioners attended the event, to include Vice Chair Edwin Fountain, Commissioner Jerry Hester, Commissioner Tom Moe, Commissioner Matthew Naylor, and Commissioner Monique Seefried.
Of the ceremony, General Kadavy said "It was overwhelming to host a memorial ceremony for our fallen Soldiers at Flanders Field American Cemetery. We owe it to those who have made the last full measure of devotion. Humbled by those who have led before us."
A video of the full ceremony can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/armyhistory/videos/10156675883932853/
Flanders Field American Cemetery and Memorial is a World War I cemetery on the southeast edge of the town of Waregem, Belgium. The memorial was designed by architect Paul Cret. This is the only American World War I cemetery in Belgium and 411 American servicemen are buried or commemorated there.
Many of the buried service members fell at Spitaals Bosschen, an action of the Ypres-Lys Campaign by the 37th and 91st Infantry Divisions in the closing days of World War I. Members of the current-day 37th and 91st Divisions were unhand, to represent those units at the ceremony.
This cemetery is administered by the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) and occupies a six-acre site. As with all Allied war cemeteries, the land was provided in perpetuity by the Belgian government. The headstones are aligned in four symmetrical areas around the white stone chapel that stands in the center of the cemetery. The side walls of the chapel are inscribed with the names of 43 missing American servicemen who have no known graves.
Read more: Ceremony Honors WWI Heroes at Flanders Field American Cemetery in Belgium
The Veterans War Memorial Tower on Mount Greylock in Adams honors those who died in combat during World War I. (Gillian Jones/The Berkshire Eagle/AP/file)
Massachusetts’ Mount Greylock added to national World War I memorial registry
By Katie Camero
via the Boston Globe newspaper web site
A shining light atop Mount Greylock, the state’s highest peak, the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Tower has achieved a new lofty status.
The 93-foot tall monument, whose illuminated beacon is visible from three states, has been designated as a World War I Centennial Memorial by the US World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library in Chicago.
The tower is one of 100 memorials chosen nationally to commemorate the 100th anniversary of America’s involvement in the “Great War.” Memorials in Harvard, Springfield, Wellesley, and Worcester were also selected, according to the commission’s website.
Colonel Jennifer Pritzker, founder of the museum, joined state officials on Thursday to unveil a plaque at the memorial at Mount Greylock State Reservation in Adams. The site is run by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Read more: Massachusetts’ Mount Greylock added to national WWI memorial registry
Commissioner Jack Monahan of the World War I Centennial Commission addresses a crowd Thursday at the Veterans War Memorial Tower atop Mount Greylock in Adams. The tower was chosen this year to be honored by the "100 Cities/100 Memorials" program jointly run by the World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library in Chicago.
Mount Greylock veterans tower memorial joins national list
By Larry Parnass
via the Berkshire Eagle newspaper web site
ADAMS — A monument to state residents who served in World War I stands higher than any structure in Massachusetts, thanks to its placement atop Mount Greylock.
These days, it has got reason to sit up a little taller.
The Veterans War Memorial Tower in the Mount Greylock State Reservation has been named to an elite group of tributes to the Great War across the U.S.
The site was chosen this year to be honored by the "100 Cities/100 Memorials" program jointly run by the World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library in Chicago.
Late Thursday morning, officials with each of those groups gathered atop Greylock to present the award and call for continued tributes to those who answer the military's call.
Their visit comes a year after the completion of $2.6 million in repairs to the 93-foot monument, whose beacon, in the right conditions, can be seen all the way to Boston.
"I share your pride in the restoration and rededication," said John D. Monahan of the centennial commission, who came from Essex, Conn., for the event. "I am heartened by the knowledge that this generation, too, has its heroes — citizens like you for whom the words `lest we forget' are a touchstone."
Monahan said later that in selecting sites to honor, the commission gave preference to ones that draw ongoing community support.
Rebecca Barnes, the Department of Conservation and Recreation's regional coordinator for the Greylock complex, applied for the "100 Memorials" designation this year. The honor comes with a $2,000 award from the Pritzker museum.
Col. Jennifer N. Pritzker, who served with the U.S Army from 1974 to 2001 and is the military museum's chairwoman, looked out across a small crowd assembled before a makeshift podium, flanked by an honor guard and color guard.
Pritzker recalled a recent visit to the Adams monument from her home in Chicago for a family gathering. She said returning to the monument brings memories of family.
"I wish all of you, too, have happy times here with your family. One way to memorialize the sacrifices of the veterans, and their deaths, is to bring new life," she said.
Pritzker noted that since World War I, as Americans fought in other conflicts, the tower's significance only grows.
Read more: Mount Greylock veterans tower memorial joins national list
Gridiron On The Great Lake: a WWI football story
By Doug Bigelow
Special to the United States World War One Centennial Commission web site
Nestled in the midst of the most devastating war in history sat a remarkable football team. Assembled on the shores of Lake Ontario, they were an unbeaten, unscored upon powerhouse made up of various racial, ethnic, social and religious backgrounds. These gridders also endured one of the greatest epidemic illnesses of all time to form a cohesive unit that beat all comers.
Doug BigelowThe team was made up of an interesting set of individuals - one a hardnosed Syracuse (NY) tough guy who survived a train collision as a teenager while driving a horse and wagon. The team manager was of German descent at a time when Germans were not looked upon favorably in the United States. Gustav Unterkoefler risked harm just for having a Germanic sounding name. One player was a Russian Jew, born in that country his family escaped an anti-Semite pogrom to come to America. The star player was an English born Irishman who played on the 1916 Brown University Rose Bowl team. Several others played collegiately or on the local semi-pro fields. The most interesting was a Native American who came from Oklahoma to serve a country that, as of yet, hadn’t granted him citizenship.
Gridiron On The Great Lake – The 1918 Fort Ontario Army Football Team is my first book. For the last 30-odd years I have done free-lance articles in the areas of sports, history, biography and genealogy. In 2015 I won the Bob Carroll Memorial Writing Award from the Professional Football Researchers Association. The article was titled: The Oswego Shakespeares and the Disputed 1915 Title.
Three decades ago I visited the local library in Oswego, NY to do research on some presently forgotten subject. While perusing the historical newspaper files on microfiche I came across a photograph of the 1915 Oswego Shakespeares. Jotting down the information contained in the caption, in case I might want to further explore it in the future, I proceeded to store this steno pad away for half a lifetime.
When coming across it in 2013, my interest re-peaked, I wrote my award-winning article. Part of my research involved contacting the director for the Fort Ontario Historical Site, Paul Lear. The fort had provided one of the Shakspeares opponents in those years. While discussing the city’s powerhouse eleven Lear mentioned, “you know we had quite a team here in 1918”. As any good historian would I immediately took up the task of proving or disproving that statement. A quick review of the 1919 Spalding Official Football Guide proved it to be an accurate boast. The Guide showed an Army squad in 1918 that flashed a 6-0 record (later disproved to be 5-0).
Read more: Gridiron On The Great Lake: a WWI football story
Participants in Bells for Peace on November 11, 2018 include, among some 60 others (left to right): Epiphany Chapel and Church House in Odenton, Maryland; Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC; the Museum of History & Industry in Seattle, WA; and The Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, VA.
Bells of Peace gaining new participants nationwide
By Aaron Rosenthal
More than sixty community participants have joined the US World War I Centennial Commission’s initiative, “Bells of Peace”. Americans across the nation will toll bells on November 11, 2018 at 11:00 AM, in honor of the service and sacrifice of the nation’s World War I veterans, led by tolling at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.
Joining the national bell tolling is an easy way for you to honor those who fought and died in World War I, and to learn about the Commission’s mission to build a World War I memorial in Washington DC. The Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, started tolling bells in 2014, and we are proud to link our efforts with theirs.
As mentioned last week, the Washington Chapel at Valley Forge will be tolling for the Armistice with their National Patriots Bell Tower, and they are not alone.
The Epiphany Chapel and Church House in Odenton, Maryland, the Cameron Parish Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Sterling Virginia, and the City of Boyd in Minnesota, will all be joining in this commemoration. Museums and historical societies from all around the country also plan to participate, including the Miami Valley Military History Museum in Ohio, the Polish National Home of Hartford Inc., the Museum of History & Industry in Seattle Washington, and many more.
You or your organization can be a part of history to commemorate the centennial as well: just log on to ww1cc.org/bells and click “participate.” We will feature your organization’s logo on the page, and you can see more content by the World War I Centennial Commission. Resources include the Dispatch Newsletter, the Commission’s podcast, World War I related events, films, music, and more.
Aaron Rosenthal is a Summer 2018 Intern with the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission.
A rendering of architect Joe Weishaar’s park design with Sabin Howard’s bronze relief sculpture for the National World War I Memorial, in July 2018, to be sited in Pershing Park, in Washington, D.C. (World War I Memorial Design Team)
National WWI Memorial Design Team Gets Green Light
By Milene Fernandez
via the Epoch Times web site
WASHINGTON—The war that did not end all wars, World War I, marked a dramatic turning point in history. It changed everything, including art. Collective trauma gave way to irony, cynicism, sarcasm, a taste for the absurd, and nihilistic disillusionment. The moral fabric of society and how it translated into art started to deteriorate at an alarming pace, until it reached the extreme where anything goes, as seen in some contemporary art today.
Now, 100 years after World War I ended, we begin to see glimmers of art that is more considerate, ennobling, trustworthy, respectful, and with a rational sensibility that is uplifting, even depicting subject matter that delves into the tragic nature of humanity.
On June 19, the design concept for a new National World War I Memorial—embodying all of such positive qualities—was unanimously endorsed by the federal aesthetic guardians of Washington, D.C., the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA). The approval marked a breakthrough not only for the World War I monument to be realized, but also for the public presence of figurative art on the world stage.
Surprisingly, Washington does not have a memorial for honoring the sacrifice and victory of the American doughboys. Pershing Park, built in 1981, has the commemorative sculpture “John J. Pershing, General of the Armies,” but nothing on a scale that would truly honor the 4.7 million Americans who served and over 116,000 who were killed in World War I.
An act of Congress in 2013 created the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission (WW1CC) for planning and developing the memorial. The 12 members of the commission were appointed by former President Barack Obama, leaders of the Senate, the House of Representatives, as well as the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the National World War I Museum and Memorial. All five former living presidents are serving on the commission as honorary chairmen.
Read more: National WWI Memorial Design Team Gets Green Light
Standing rigidly at attention behind their drill instructors, women Marines prepare for a morning's drill on the Ellipse behind the White House during World War I.
Women Marines Proudly Serving 1918-2018 - Special Exhibition
By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission
The Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation invites you to the opening of a special exhibit showcasing 100 years of service by Women Marines — from the enlistment of Opha May Johnson, the first Woman Marine, to today’s female “Devil Dogs.”
A highlight of the event includes keynote remarks by USMC Lt. Gen. Loretta “Lori” Reynolds, the third woman in history to be promoted to 3-stars in the Marine Corps.
The event is free and open to the public and light refreshments will be served. RSVPs are requested and can be made by responding here or by calling 703-533-1155 x 109 with your name, contact information and the number in your party.
Located at the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery, the Women's Memorial is accessible by METRO Blue Line, Arlington Cemetery Stop, and paid parking is available in the Cemetery Visitor Lot. Directions to the Women's Memorial can be found at www.womensmemorial.org/Visit/directions.html.
US Mint World War I Centennial Silver Medal Sales Reopen
By Mike Unser
via the CoinNews.net web site
Collectors can again order the five 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar and Medal Sets. Limited to 100,000, the sets launched on Jan. 17 and originally had an ordering deadline of Feb. 20.
Today, the United States Mint reopened sales of all five sets at their initial issue price of $99.95 each.
There’s no word on how many sets are available or for how long their sales will continue.
The medals feature designs emblematic of the Army, the Navy, the Air Service, the Marines and the Coast Guard. Conceived by the U.S. Mint to support the WWI Centennial Silver Dollar Commemorative Coin Program, each medal is paired with a proof WWI dollar and sold as a distinct set.
Sales figures of all five sets had been declining since their Feb. 20 deadline because of returns and cancellations. That’s no longer the case. Last week’s U.S. Mint sales report had each set advancing by an average of 73 units. This week’s report shows gains ranging from 15 units for the Coast Guard set to 52 units for the Army set.
Read more: WWI Centennial Silver Medal Sales Reopen
The World War I roots of the modern Purple Heart medal
By Aaron Rosenthal
George Washington's original Badge of Military Merit (inset center) and the modern Purple Heart Medal.Although there is little doubt that the Purple Heart is one of the most recognizable medals the US military offers to men and women in its service, the actual story of the decoration is often overlooked. “The Purple Heart is a medal awarded in the name of the President to any civilian or member of the Armed Forces United States who while serving under any capacity with one of the armed forces is wounded or killed.”1
Today, around 1.9 million purple hearts have been awarded,2 but many may be surprised to learn that although its conception began with George Washington himself, the Purple Heart in its current form can only be traced back to 1932, with a direct connection to the American military experience in World War I.3 In this article I will take a look at the story of the modern Purple Heart.
General George Washington was the first to conceptualize the Purple Heart, or as he called it, the Badge of Military Merit. This purple-colored heart-shaped badge was awarded to three soldiers in the Continental Army who showed exceptional merit on the battlefield.4 Sergeant Daniel Bissell received his for spying on British troops quartered in New York City and then returning to American lines with invaluable intelligence.5
Sergeant William Brown received his at the Battle of Yorktown, for leading his men, through British defenses with unloaded muskets and attacking their inner lines with nothing but bayonets. Finally Sergeant Elijah Churchill was awarded his for daring raids on the British held Fort George and Fort Slongo. However after the Revolutionary War, Washington’s Badge of Military Merit fell into disuse.6
Read more: The WWI roots of the modern Purple Heart medal
From the World War I Centennial News Podcast
Our major theme for July 20th's WW1 Centennial News Podcast, Episode 82, was the Ambulance: the experience of Americans who drove one, its effect on battlefield medicine, and even the evolution of the word. In 100 Years Ago, host Theo Mayer provided essential background information on the American Field Service (AFS). Nicole Milano, an archivist and editor at the AFS, joined the show to discuss the vital contributions of that organization during the war. In addition, we combined Speaking WW1 and War Tech into one cohesive, ambulance-focused segment. The following is a transcript of 100 Years ago, the interview, Speaking WW1, and War Tech:
100 Years Ago: The American Field Service with Theo Mayer and Nicole Milano
Theo Mayer: The scale of injury and physical trauma in World War I hit new heights, previously unimaginable in human history. In response, the treatment of the wounded and battlefield medicine were completely transformed. However, before you can treat a wounded warrior, you need to get them from the battlefield to the doctor, and that's the theme for this week's show. Our catchphrase is ambulance, and as you'll learn by the time the show's finished, the term itself has a history that predates vehicles. With that as a premise, we're going to jump into our centennial time machine and go back to the years just prior to World War I to see how a hospital in Paris was the foundation for how the wounded were transported from the battlefield in the war that changed the world...
We've landed in pre-war Paris. It's very popular for wealthier Americans, as well as aspiring artists, to come here. It's exciting, it's cultured, and it's naughty, all at the same time. The expatriate, or the American overseas community in Paris, is defined by the River Seine. On the Left Bank, you have the artists, musicians, philosophers, and writers. The Right Bank is inhabited by the Gilded Age upper class families like the Vanderbilts, Goulds, Morgans, Whitneys, and so on. These Americans want American doctors and American medical care as well, so they come together to establish and fund a hospital in Paris for themselves: L'hôpital Américain. The hospital is paid for entirely with private donations, much of it coming from the Right Bank families.Inspector General A. Piatt Andrew and Assistant Inspector General Stephen Galatti in front of a row of ambulances at 21 rue Raynouard, the location of the AFS headquarters in Paris, France. Photograph by H.C. Ellis. Individual contributions worth about $10 million build, staff, and supply the hospital, which opens to much excitement. Sterling Heilig of the Chicago Record-Herald describes it as, "The jewel of Paris, the most spic-and-span, luxurious, scientific, brand-new little hospital in Europe."
Okay- back to history. Now it's August of 1914. A war breaks out because a radical kid assassinates the Crown Prince of Austria. Nobody thinks of it as a big deal at the time, but Germany decides to take the opportunity to roll through Belgium and push into France, expecting an easy military snap and grab of Belgium and France to expand their empire- because after all, that's how you expand empires. Well, in early September, the invasion gets to within 30 miles of Paris. That's when the French and the British muster up, counterattack, and stop the German advance at the First Battle of the Marne. It's a turning point that precedes the four years of global mayhem that will become known as World War I.
Read more: Podcast Article - The Ambulance
From the World War I Centennial News Podcast
Rebekah Wilson and the "Turning the Tide" Stamp
In July 27th’s WW1 Centennial News Podcast, Episode 82, former commission staffer and Director of Operations Rebekah Wilson came on the show to share the story behind our new commemorative stamp. The following is a transcript of the interview:
Theo Mayer: This week in Commission news we're happy to announce a new Centennial commemorative collectible. Joining the U.S. Mint 1918 World War I Commemorative Silver Dollar, this week, the U.S. Postal Service issued the World War I "Turning the Tide" Stamp. It's a really great-looking piece, so anyone who's into snail mail, stamp collecting, or really wants a great commemorative collectible for kids or grandkids, head to the post office and snag a sheet or two of these awesome Forever Stamps. The new stamp was offered to the public in a First Day of Issue dedication ceremony hosted at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City. The stamp features a soldier wearing a steel combat helmet. In his right hand, he holds the pole for the America flag that he's grasping in his left. In the background of the stamp, you can see smoke and barbed wires against the yellow rays of the sky. Two World War I biplanes fly over the battlefield. The illustration was created by artist Mark Stutzman, who's the same talent that created the renowned young Elvis stamp. According to the Postal Service, the World War I illustration was painted using an airbrush on illustrator board, a technique that evokes the propaganda posters used during World War I. It's a great look.
World War I Centennial Commissioner Debra Anderson was a guest speaker for the ceremony, and mentioned the effort to gain the support for the stamp. "We knocked on as many doors as we could, and wrote as many letters as we could to help the veterans to be remembered. We're thrilled that the Postal Service has chosen to provide them with this honor." As Commissioner Anderson points out, a stamp doesn't just happen. This grassroots campaign started at the fledgling U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, at their very first official meeting on October 29th, 2013, with a suggestion by Commissioner Jerry Hester. Joining us to tell us the story of this early initiative to get a commemorative World War I stamp is Rebekah Wilson, one of the original Commission staffers, and the former Director of Operations for the World War I Centennial Commission. Rebekah, welcome back for a chat. It's great to have you here.
Rebekah Wilson: Nice to speak with you too. I'm glad to be back.
Read more: Podcast Article- Rebekah Wilson Interview