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Military, government leaders break ground on WWI Memorial in D.C.

By Mike Carter-Conneen
via the WJLA (Washington, DC) web site

WASHINGTON (WJLA) — Veterans, military leaders and members of Congress broke ground Thursday on a new war memorial in Washington considered long overdue. It will honor Americans who served in World War I and it will be built at 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest in Pershing Park.

Military, government leaders break ground on WWI Memorial in D.C. (ABC7)Military, government leaders break ground on WWI Memorial in D.C. (ABC7)Just in time for Veterans Day 2017 — once known as Armistice Day marking the end of the war in 1918 — government and military leaders marked the start of the National World War I Memorial. At the groundbreaking ceremony, they shoveled soil from Meuse-Argonne Battlefield in France.

NPS regional director Bob Vogel said, “Archival footage of the frenzied celebration in the nation's capital of the Armistice on November 11th, 1918, shows Washingtonians packed shoulder to shoulder across Pennsylvania Avenue right here in front of the Willard hotel.”

The granddaughter of famed Army General John Pershing and others at the event expressed regret this day took 100 years.

“I think it was due to the Depression and the fact that the war was so horrific that no one wanted to talk about it,” said Sandra Sinclair Pershing. “Then, World War II happened. And everyone got swept up in that.”

Former Senator, World War II and Korean War veteran John Warner attended the groundbreaking, along with veterans from every major conflict since.

VA Secretary David Shulkin acknowledged both of his grandfathers served in World War I.

Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley emphasized the more than 200,000 Americans wounded in the so-called "Great War" and more than 100,000 more killed.

“It's our duty to remember what they fought for, why they fought. It's our duty to carry on that legacy,” Milley said.

Read the whole article on the WJLA (Washington, DC) web site:

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