WWI DISPATCH April 9, 2019

An item from the World War One Centennial Commission.


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April 9, 2019

Weishaar tells UA audience that National World War I Memorial design effort was a “wonderful sort of experimentation process”

Joe Weishaar

The architect for the national World War I Memorial in Washington DC told an audience at the University of Arkansas last week that the elation of winning a design competition for a national World War I memorial at age 25 turned at times to cynicism as unexpected obstacles emerged in the months after his design was selected. Click here to read more about the trials that followed the January 2016 design competition win for Weishaar, and how the challenges helped shape the final design in unanticipated ways.


Wreath Ceremony at Cypress Hills National Cemetery for NY WWI heroes

Cypress Hills sign

The upcoming Navy Fleet Week New York 2019 starts Thursday, May 22nd, and this year, the event will have a theme of ‘Remembering America’s World War I Veterans’. As Fleet Week approaches, the United States World War I Centennial Commission will host a commemorative event on May 2nd at historic Cypress Hills National Cemetery. There, we will take a moment to remember some heroes, who remain New Yorkers forever. Click here to read more about these New York Home Town Heroes of WWI, and the pre-Fleet Week ceremony to honor them.


VHP Updates Collections Policy and Scope, Includes Gold Star Voices

Veterans History Project

This past year, the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project has made special effort to collect and preserve the stories of World War I – and they have found remarkable success in the form of donated WWI diaries, journals, and letters home. This effort was so successful, that they have further expanded their materials acceptance policy. In a partnership with our friends at Gold Star Families, the VHP will now also collect, preserve, and make available, the important stories of America’s Gold Star veteran family members. Click here to read more about these changes and expansions to the Veterans History Project.


Important WWI National War Pledge Card found inside wall of house in Pelham, NY

Pelham house

Pelham, NY mobilized during WWI to defend the home front and to support the many young men who fought the war in Europe. Part of that mobilization was to provide monetary support to a national campaign to raise $35,000,000 for the Y.M.C.A.’s National War Work Council that funded efforts to provide comfort and support to American troops, Allied troops, and prisoners of war. Recently, a Pelhamite discovered an unused pledge card, issued by the local Pelham Committee in late 1917 to raise money locally for the National War Work Council, inside the walls of her home. Click here to read more about this remarkable artifact, and see pictures of the unexpected find from a century ago.


“We want to spread to people in America that French people don’t forget what their ancestors made for us.”

Lucie Aubert

During the course of World War I, the entire nation of France was affected by the arrival of the two million American men and women serving with the American Expeditionary Force. One place where the memories remain alive is in the Yonne Valley, to the northeast of Paris. Named after the river Yonne, it is one of the eight constituent departments of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and was the site of the AEF’s 16th Training Region. The Doughboys who trained there are well remembered. We were very lucky to speak to one of the leaders of the historical efforts in the region, Lucie Aubert. In addition to their various commemorative efforts, Lucie and her friends have created a website that tells the story of every single one of the 175 American service members who lost their lives in the Yonne, one hundred years ago. Click here to read the entire interview with Lucie, and learn more about the local efforts to honor the Doughboys who helped to save France 100 years ago.


U.S. Mint releases images of struck 2019 American Legion Centennial coins

American Legion Coin

As the American Legion celebrates the centennial of its birth during World War I, the United States Mint has released images of struck examples of the three 2019 American Legion 100th Anniversary commemorative coins.  The Mint is offering Proof and Uncirculated versions of the program’s gold $5 half eagle, silver dollar and copper-nickel clad half dollar. The gold coins are being struck at the West Point Mint with the W Mint mark while the silver dollars will bear the P Mint mark of the Philadelphia Mint where they are being produced. The Proof half dollar will bear the S Mint mark of the San Francisco Mint and the Uncirculated half dollar the D Mint mark of the Denver Mint. Click here to read more from Coin World magazine about the American Legion commemorative coins from the United States Mint.


“It was important for me to let people know what it was like during the year 1918.”

Gina Hooten Popp

Author Gina Hooten Popp (left) says “I don’t plan a story, but rather let the story come to and through me. So when Lucky’s Way—my historical fiction novel about a young World War One fighter pilot from Houston, Texas—started to take shape in my imagination, I totally immersed myself in research about The Great War. From non-fiction books and documentaries containing historical facts and timelines to soldier’s diary entries and letters sent back home, I learned about the nuances of this fascinating era.” Click here to read more about Lucky’s Way, endorsed by the United States World War I Centennial Commission, and Popp’s efforts to ensure historical fidelity in the novel.


Barrier Island Center Exhibit of African-American World War I Servicemen Includes Shore Soldiers

Shore Soldier

The Barrier Islands Center in Machipongo, VA is hosting a temporary exhibit on loan from the Library of Virginia, “True Sons of Freedom.” To commemorate World War I, “True Sons of Freedom” uses photographs of African-American soldiers from Virginia who fought overseas to defend freedoms they were denied at home. African-Americans from all parts of the Commonwealth served in the army and navy during World War I. The soldiers highlighted in “True Sons of Freedom” came from locations across Virginia and most worked as farmers or laborers before the conflict. Click here to read more about this historical exhibit on display in the former African-American Almshouse, which now serves as the Education and Community Building.


From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

Remembering Veterans: Ken Buckles

Ken Buckles

In March 29th’s edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 116, host Theo Mayer spoke with Ken Buckles (left), a relative of the last surviving American WWI veteran, Frank Woodruff Buckles, who died in 2011. Ken is the Executive Director of Remembering America’s Heroes, an organization dedicated to the memory of the men and women who have served this country. Click here to read the entire interview, including what Ken has to say about his relationship with Frank Buckles during the last several years of his life.

Commission News:
Valor Medal Review Task Force, Part II

Timothy Wescott

In March 29th’s edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 116, host Theo Mayer spoke with Park University’s Dr. Timothy Wescott (left) and Ashlyn Weber, a history student, about their work with the Commission’s Valor Medal Review Task Force. Click here to read the entire interview about Park University’s efforts on behalf of the Valor Medals Review Task Force, sponsored by the United States World War I Centennial Commission.


WWI Centennial NEWS Podcast

Podcast Logo New

The WW1 Centennial News Podcast is about WW1 THEN: 100 years ago this week, and it’s about WW1 NOW: News and updates about the centennial and the commemoration. 

Available on our web siteiTunesGoogle Play, PodbeanTuneInStitcher Radio on Demand.  Spotify  listen on Youtube. New – Comment and ask questions via twitter @TheWW1podcast

George Creel: Chairman, Committee on Public Information

Episode #117
Highlights: George Creel, Selling the War.

Host – Theo Mayer

100 Years Ago This Week – Host | @ 02:10

The Monroe Doctrine – Host | @ 06:40

April at the Paris Peace Conference – Mike Shuster | @ 10:05

War Memoirs from WWI: “Those We Loved” I.L. Read  – Dr. Edward Lengel | @ 14:00

George Creel: Selling The War, Part 1 – Alan Axelrod | @ 19:20

The Story of Helen Hagan – Yale News & Elizabeth Foxwell | @ 34:30

The Dispatch – Host | @ 43:50


Literature in WWI This Week

Wwrite Blog Logo

Ellen Lamotte’s “The Backwash of War”.

Did a Censored Female Writer Inspire Hemingway’s Famous Style?

By Cynthia Wachtell

Virtually everyone has heard of Ernest Hemingway. But you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who knows of Ellen N. La Motte.

According to Cynthia Wachtell, editor of the new edition of Lamotte’s formerly-censored novel, The Backwash of War, people should. She is the extraordinary World War I nurse who wrote like Hemingway before Hemingway.

She was arguably the originator of his famous style – the first to write about World War I using spare, understated, declarative prose. Wachtell first published this article in The Conversation but was kind enough to not only let WWrite reprint but also to give some background on her inspiration for studying Lamotte and Hemingway: her grandfather, who was a conscientious objector during WWI.

At WWrite this week: “Ellen Lamotte’s The Backwash of War. Did a Censored Female Writer Inspire Hemingway’s Famous Style?”

Behind Their Lines

behind their lines

“To a Young Aviator”

is an apt memorial for American flying ace Raoul Lufbury and all the pilots of the First World War. Aline Kilmer’s poem captures the cool courage of the fliers, as well as the solitary loneliness of the job


Doughboy MIA for week of April 8

Henry Powell Daniels

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Monday’s Doughboy MIA this week is Private First Class Henry Powell Daniels. Born in the town of Cammer, Georgia, as one of the seven children of William and Sara Daniels, Henry enlisted in the Regular US Army at Columbus Barracks, Ohio on 28 October 1916 and served with Company G of the 37th Infantry Regiment on the Mexican border. Following the declaration of war, he was reassigned on 28 May 1917 to Company F, 28th Infantry Regiment and sent to France with the first contingent of American troops to go over, arriving on 11 June 1917. In France, the 28th became one of the organic regiments to form the new 1st Division, and with them Daniels entered the lines in the Somerville Sector and saw some of the first action of the war. In December, 1917, Private Daniels was promoted to Private First Class. On 28 May 1918 – the one year of his anniversary with the regiment – the first all American offensive of the war was launched against the town of Cantigny. Two days later, on 30 May 1918, Daniels was killed in action outside of cantigny. No other details of his death are known at this time.

Want to help us shed some light on PFC Daniels’s case? Consider making a donation to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WW1. Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks. Remember: A man is only missing if he is forgotten.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Window decal

“Doughboy”
Window Decal

An easy and inexpensive way to let the world know that you are remembering America’s Doughboys 100 years later.

Featuring the iconic Doughboy silhouette flanked by barbed wire so prevalent during WWI, you can proudly display this poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by U.S. soldiers.  

A portion of the proceeds from this item will go toward building the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC.

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial.


Double Donations Marines


AA Milne & son

There is nothing more heart-wrenching to veterans with families than having to explain why daddy hasn’t been the same ever since he returned from the war. A reasonable adult can grasp the idea that war is hell and that it can change a person forever, but an innocent kid — one who was sheltered from such grim concepts by that very veteran — cannot. A. A. Milne, an English author and veteran of both World Wars, was struggling to explain this harsh reality to his own child when he penned the 1926 children’s classic, “Winnie-the-Pooh.” Click here to learn how this beloved series of children’s books “were a way for Milne to explain his own WWI post-traumatic stress to his six-year-old son.”


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Poppy Seed Side Ad


Doughboy MIA



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Ward Everett Duffy

A Story of Service from the Stories of Service section of ww1cc.org

Ward Everett Duffy

Submitted by: Virginia Ward Duffy McLoughlin {Daughter} and Martha M. Everett {Granddaughter}

Ward Everett Duffy was born around 1891. Ward Duffy served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

The calligraphy ink on my father’s journalism degree was barely dry when President Woodrow Wilson declared on April 6, 1917, that the United States would enter World War I. The military needed to enlist and train soldiers – fast. My father had just started his first journalism job with The Evening Herald in Manchester, Connecticut, and his employer didn’t want to lose him.

April 30, 1917
To Whom It May Concern:
This is to certify that I have known the bearer, Ward E. Duffy, for the past year and can testify that he is a man of good character and exemplary habits. I hope whoever examines him physically will turn him down, as he is needed on his job.
Elwood S. Ela, The Evening Herald

But patriotism, idealism and a sense of duty stirred in my father. His employer’s letter aside, he could have sought an exemption from service as the sole support for his wife, Louise Day Duffy, and their 3-month-old son, David. But my 25-year-old father enlisted to serve his country.

Read Ward Everett Duffy‘s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family’s Story of Service here.


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