The pilots pilots in dress uniforms African American Officers gas masks African American Soldiers 1 Riveters Mule Rearing doughboys with mules

Welcome to the Georgia WWI Commission

"To Honor, Educate and Commemorate"

Jefferson County Veterans’ Memorial Plaza dedication, May 23, 2019

The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners dedicated the county’s new “Veterans Plaza” on the grounds of the historic county courthouse in Louisville. The reconfigured plaza grew from work by the Georgia WWI Centennial Commission. Louisville native Dr. Lamar Veatch, an associate for the Centennial Commission, spent the centennial years building databases both of soldiers from Georgia who died in WW1 and local monuments that honored them. Veatch discovered that his home county did not have a WWI memorial. He also learned that only a dozen soldiers from Jefferson County who died in that conflict were publicly recognized in the 1921 Georgia Memorial Book, all of them white. His research revealed an additional 14 deaths of Jefferson County citizens, eleven of whom were African - American.

Bringing this information to the attention of several County Commissioners, Veatch was invited to join with the Jefferson County Historical Society in presenting a proposal to the full Board of Commissioners. This proposal was to install a WWI monument, listing all 26 names, on the courthouse grounds. This new monument would join the existing memorials at this location that were for every other modern war and conflict. Not only was this proposal enthusiastically approved, the Commission subsequently decided to re-landscape the entire front entrance of the courthouse, clean and refurbish the older monuments, to create the “Jefferson County Veterans’ Memorial Plaza”.

The ceremony on May 23rd was attended by scores of community residents, including three generations of relatives of one of the African-American soldiers whose name is now inscribed on the new Jefferson County WW1 memorial.

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Scenes from the Camille O'Brien gravesite ceremony

Scenes from the ceremony April 18, 2019 to dedicate a grave marker for Camille O'Brien, a member of the Emory nursing unit who died of illness while treating soldiers in France in World War I. She had lain in an unmarked grave in Atlanta's Greenwood Cemetery for 98 years. Our appreciation to the many who made this ceremony possible, including the organizer historian Michael Hitt. In addition to the Georgia WWI Centennial Commission, these include H.M. Patterson & Sons Funeral Directors Oglethorpe Hill Chapel, Emory University, the Patriot Guard Riders of Georgia, the Daughters of the American Revolution, American Legion Posts 143 and 160, American Red Cross, and numerous others.

Grave marker for Camille O'Brien.  Two red roses lying on topMan and woman standing under grave tent posing for the cameraTwo soldiers dressed in WW1 military uniforms folding the US flag.People standing around the grave marker in what looks to be a moment of silence.Man in authentic WW1 military uniform holds folded US flag while looking on at the ceremony.  Others in attendance stand nearby.a view from behind people sitting under a green tent.a view from behind the tent but to the side.  Someone is at a podium speaking.pictures on easels.  One is of O'Brien with news articles surrounding her black and white picture.  the other picture is a long picture of the members of her camp.Soldier dressed in WW1 military attire stands atop a box and gives a speecha man in a black robe gives a speech at the podiumthe color guard stand in a line with the US flaga bronze plaque dedicated to Camille Louise O'Brien on an easel

 

 

The music of a bereaved father in tribute to his lost son

Among the hundreds of casualties of the wreck of the troop ship Otranto on October 6, 1918, was William Eugene Warth of Savannah. In 1919 his father, F. A. Warth, penned both the words and music of “Consolation” and dedicated it to the memory of his son and those lost with him.

In 2019, at the request of the Georgia World War I Centennial Commission, Dr. Brent Runnels, director of Music at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, brought the music back to life with this linked recording. Soprano Dr. Wanda Yang Temko is accompanied by Dr. Runnels on the piano. Our sincere appreciation to Dr. Runnels and Dr. Temko for this moving contribution to the commemoration of the centennial of World War I with their performance of “Consolation,” a bereaved father’s tribute.

 

Soprano - Dr. Wanda Yang Temko and Pianist Dr. Brent Runnels.

 

They Shall Not Grow Old

We highly recommend this film. It brings World War I to life, humanizing the participants in ways you previously will not have seen. Old film is modernized through technology. We suggest you stay at the end of the film for director Peter Jackson's on-screen explanation of how the film was made. The work is both a moving tribute to those who sacrificed in World War I and a technological marvel in its own right.

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GA World War I Centennial Commission Recognized

Col. Billy Wells, chair of the Georgia Commission accepts a certificate of appreciation from Dr. Seefried.Dr. Lamar Veatch accepts a certificate of recognition from Dr. Seefried

U.S. WWI Centennial Commissioner Monique Seefried of Atlanta attended the regular meeting of the Georgia WWI Centennial Commission held January 10, 2019 at Atlanta History Center. On behalf of the national commission, Dr. Seefried presented a certificate of appreciation to the Georgia Commission for outstanding efforts over the past three years “to honor the legacy and sacrifice of the men and women who served in World War I and for telling the story of The War That Changed The World.” Accepting the certificate is Col. Billy Wells, chair of the Georgia Commission. Dr. Seefried also presented an individual certificate of recognition to Georgia Commission associate Dr. Lamar Veatch for his tireless efforts to document the deaths of all Georgians who died in uniform in the war, beyond only those white soldiers listed in the original 1921 State Memorial Book.

 

 
 
 
 

Georgia World War I Centennial Commission Donors


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Georgia Power

John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Foundation, Inc.

Numerous generous individuals

 

Georgia World War I Centennial Commission

Contact: georgia@worldwar1centennial.org

Commission Members

  • Mr. Scott Delius, Atlanta
  • Mr. Rick Elder, Sylvania
  • Mr. Samuel Friedman, Atlanta
  • Mr. Thomas Lacy, Peachtree City (vice-chair)
  • Dr. John Morrow, Athens
  • Dr. Billy Wells, Dahlonega (Chair)

Executive Director:

Dr. Thomas H. Jackson, Jr., University System of Georgia

Federal Commissioner for Georgia

Dr. Monique Seefried, Atlanta

Commission Associates

  • Dr. Lamar Veatch, University of North Georgia
  • Mr. Keith Antonia, University of North Georgia

 

Next Meeting:

Date to be determined

Future Meetings:

None schedule at this time.

"Pershing" Donors

Founding Sponsor
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