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Welcome to the Georgia WWI Commission

"To Honor, Educate and Commemorate"

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.

 

 
 
 
 

Day to honor veterans also marks 100th anniversary of World War I's end

Article Courtesy of the AJC

November 11, 2018 by Danny Robbins, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Two soldiers in uniform stand at attention and saluteArmy National Guard soldiers Scott Delius (left) and Bobby Christine stand at attention during the 2018 Veterans Day Commemoration at the Atlanta History Center on Sunday, November 11, 2018. This year’s ceremony recognized the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. (Photo: STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC) Photo: Steve Schaefer

More than 100 veterans, including a Medal of Honor winner, turned out Sunday at the Atlanta History Center for a special Veterans Day observance that marked the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

On a cool, clear morning, veterans who served in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan gathered with others outside the center for a ceremony that included the sounds of both a military band and a lone bagpiper as well as speakers who sought to assess the conflict’s place in history.

The ceremony also featured an appearance by retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston, one of the 74 living Medal of Honor recipients. Livingston, 78, and his wife, Sarah, occupied seats in the center of the front row and were greeted afterward by many of the other vets in attendance.

Georgia Society Sons of the American Revolution wait to present the colors before the start of the 2018 Veterans Day Commemoration at the Atlanta History Center on Sunday, November 11, 2018. Georgia Society Sons of the American Revolution wait to present the colors before the start of the 2018 Veterans Day Commemoration at the Atlanta History Center on Sunday, November 11, 2018. This year's ceremony recognized the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. (Photo: STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC)

Often referred to as “the Great War” or “the war to end all wars,” World War I killed 10 million combatants, involved 32 countries in fighting in various parts of the globe. Yet its significance and horrors have been overtaken by more recent events, a theme that those who spoke Sunday wove into their remarks.

Sheffield Hale, the history center’s president and CEO, described how the war ended a century ago in France’s Compiegne Forest “on a day about 15 degrees colder and much mistier than today.” However, since that time, it has “sometimes been lost in our collective memory,” he said.

He added that, while thousands of Georgians died in the war, “we are missing many of their stories.”

Charles A. Dobbins lowers his head throughout the invocation during the 2018 Veterans Day CommemorationCharles A. Dobbins lowers his head throughout the invocation during the 2018 Veterans Day Commemoration at the Atlanta History Center on Sunday, November 11, 2018. (Photo; STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC)

Keynote speaker Billy Wells, a retired Army colonel, noted that World War I ushered in an era of warfare that included powerful artillery, tanks and air power. But the reparations demanded of Germany left the country in dire economic straits and promoted the rise of nationalism - the prelude to World War II.

“There is no such thing as a `war to end all wars’ … and equally there’s no such thing as a `great war,’” said Wells, senior vice president for leadership and global engagement at the University of North Georgia.

 People look over information for the Veterans History Project in the atrium of the Atlanta History Center after the 2018 Veterans Day Commemoration on Sunday, November 11, 2018. (Photo: STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC)People look over information for the Veterans History Project in the atrium of the Atlanta History Center after the 2018 Veterans Day Commemoration on Sunday, November 11, 2018. (Photo: STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC)

In an interview after the ceremony, Livingston, who grew up in Lumber City and now lives in Charleston, S.C., also spoke of how World War I led to innovations in weaponry but was misunderstood as an end game for human conflict.

“They said that would be the last war, and look where we’re at today,” he said.

Livingston, who served three tours in Vietnam and was awarded the Medal of Honor for service beyond the call of duty at the battle of Dai Do, said remembering those who served in World War I reminded him of the “legacy” that passes from one generation of soldiers to another and his belief that more people should serve the country.

“I’d like to see more sacrifice in some fashion,” he said. “More (people) should be giving back to our country.”

The ceremony began with the ringing of “peace bells” to mark the timing of the armistice - the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month.

Martin Berning sings the national anthem at the beginning of the 2018 Veterans Day Commemoration at the Atlanta History Center on Sunday, November 11, 2018. This year's ceremony recognized the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. (Photo: STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC)Martin Berning sings the national anthem at the beginning of the 2018 Veterans Day Commemoration at the Atlanta History Center on Sunday, November 11, 2018. This year's ceremony recognized the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. (Photo: STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC)

Wayne Coleman of Stone Mountain then played a medley of military tunes on his bagpipe, including “Over There,” the patriotic song written by George M. Cohan that became popular during the war.

Bagpiper Wayne Coleman performs during the 2018 Veterans Day Commemoration at the Atlanta History Center on Sunday, November 11, 2018. (Photo: STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC)Bagpiper Wayne Coleman performs during the 2018 Veterans Day Commemoration at the Atlanta History Center on Sunday, November 11, 2018. (Photo: STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC)

Coleman, who plays the same bagpipes his father played as a soldier during World War II, later closed the ceremony with another medley that also included “Over There.”

 

Scenes from national WWI Centennial observances in Washington, D.C.

Georgia National History Day winner Daniel Wright of Monroe and Katarina Hess, a winner from Washington State, share the stories of World War I soldiers during ceremonies at the national observance in Washington, D.C. (photo courtesy Laura McCarty)Georgia National History Day winner Daniel Wright of Monroe and Katarina Hess, a winner from Washington State, share the stories of World War I soldiers during ceremonies at the national observance in Washington, D.C. (photo courtesy Laura McCarty)

Architect Joe Weishaar and Sculptor Sabin Howard discuss their design and execution of the U.S. World War I Memorial to be built at Pershing Park in Washington, D.C. (photo courtesy Laura McCarty)Architect Joe Weishaar and Sculptor Sabin Howard discuss their design and execution of the U.S. World War I Memorial to be built at Pershing Park in Washington, D.C. (photo courtesy Laura McCarty)

Georgia National History Day winner Daniel Wright joins Georgia World War I Centennial Commission advisory board members Virginia Dilkes and Laura McCarty in placing the Georgia WWI wreath on the Arlington Cemetery grave of General Courtney Hodges, Distinguished Service Cross recipient from WWI.Georgia National History Day winner Daniel Wright joins Georgia World War I Centennial Commission advisory board members Virginia Dilkes and Laura McCarty in placing the Georgia WWI wreath on the Arlington Cemetery grave of General Courtney Hodges, Distinguished Service Cross recipient from WWI.

 

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

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