WWI DISPATCH August 13, 2019

A newsletter from the World War One Centennial Commission.


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August 13, 2019

First armatures arrived in NJ

Full size armatures of the first nine figures out of the 38 in the sculpture for the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC arrived August 8 at sculptor Sabin Howard’s studio in New Jersey, shipped from Stroud, UK where they were fabricated. The armatures will be coated with clay and then sculpted by hand, preparing them for the bronze casting process.


Commemorative reenactment of historic post-WWI military convoy underway

MVPA convoy

The Military Vehicle Preservation Association is sponsoring a reenactment of the 1919 military convoy that traveled across the Lincoln Highway, from the East Coast to the West Coast, to celebrate the victory in World War I. The 2019 MVPA Transcontinental Convoy got on the road August 10th in York, PA and ends September 14th in San Francisco, CA. Click here to read more about the convoy, and its arrival in Galion, OH on August 17. More information on the Convoy is available from MVPA here. If you are wondering where the Convoy is at any moment, click on this link for the Live Convoy Tracker.


Ridgefield, CT students dig into WWI history with Trench Restoration project

DIgging into History

A group of 15 Connecticut students participated in the “Digging Into History: WWI Trench Restoration” program in Seicheprey, France this summer. The Connecticut State Library’s program brought participants to the site of the first German offensive against American troops to restore a section of trench once occupied by Connecticut’s 102nd Infantry Regiment. Click here to read about about the trench restoration effort, and the experiences of Ridgefield High School seniors Aaron Cohen and Mairead Lacey in France during the three-week program.


A century ago in WWI, six soldiers from Chandler, OK were killed on same day

Matheny headstone

Only the names on the telegrams were different. Otherwise, the six were exactly the same: Same date. Same place. Even the same wording. “It must’ve been gut-wrenching,” said Paul Vassar, who still has a hard time grasping what it was like for his hometown — losing six of its young men on the same day in World War I. A retired district judge, Vassar has written a book about this tragic chapter in his hometown’s history. It’s called “The Boys: The Story of a Town and War.” Click here to read more about the book,, and how the tragic story “was lost to time” in an Oklahoma town after WWI.


‘Hello Girls’ documentary tells story of women on the front lines in World War I

James Theres

An errant Google search and a last-minute, fortuitous find at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., made James Theres’ documentary “The Hello Girls” come together. Theres, with three documentaries under his belt, started searching in 2017 for a project to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I in November 1918. Read more about how a mistake in a Google search for information on WWI set him on the path to his award-winning documentary.


August Offerings at National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City

Living the Great War August 2019

A weekend event featuring the Living History Volunteer Corps and living historians presenting real WWI artifacts for visitors to inspect, a panel discussion on challenges faced by returning soldiers from war and a presentation on the race riots of the “Red Summer” of 1919 are among the August offerings at the National WWI Museum and Memorial. On Saturday, Aug. 24 at 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 25 at 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. the Museum and Memorial is sponsoring Living the Great War. This free weekend event features the Living History Volunteer Corps and other World War I living historians sharing their knowledge and inviting the public to inspect their collections in a camp setting on the Museum and Memorial grounds. Click here to read more about this and other August activities at the National WWI Museum and Memorial


“Letters from Over There” by 2nd Lt Parke Tolman Scott of Armstead, MT

Quartermaster Supply unit in France

K.C. Picard, Idaho WW1 Centennial Commissioner, tells the story of how 2nd Lt Parke Tolman Scott of Montana kept the home front informed of what was happening with the AEF in France through his DATELINE FRANCE: “Letters from Over There” postings to the Dillon Tribune newspaper in Beaverhead County, MT. Read more about how the 25-year-old gas and oil officer for the AEF Quartermaster Depot in France reached out to his family and community with news about the war front and commentary that was in keeping with the American Expeditionary Forces’ strict military and security needs.


The Army’s Message to Returning World War I Troops? Behave Yourselves

Not with this on

The shelling stopped on Nov. 11, 1918, sending millions of American soldiers back to the United States to pick up where they had left off before joining or being drafted into the war effort. For one officer, the return meant facing a perfunctory public welcome and superficial support. A series of posters — on display at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo., until Sept. 15 — designed by the Army to show America’s discharged soldiers how they should behave once they returned to civilian life, provides evidence of the nation’s blindness to the toll modern war took on those who endured it. The Army didn’t want the flood of veterans returning home to become a disruptive presence or a financial burden on society. Click here to read the entire New York Times Magazine article about the post-war debates over the government’s responsibility to care for its military forces in the war’s aftermath.


WWI Changed the Meaning of ‘Barbaric’

Walter Benjamin

Walter Benjamin (1892–1940) was a philosopher, cultural critic, and essayist. Associated with the Frankfurt School, Benjamin influenced many of his contemporaries, including Bertolt Brecht, Gershom Scholem, and Theodor Adorno. Benjamin’s best-known essays include “The Task of the Translator,” “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” and “Theses on the Philosophy of History.” In 1940, he killed himself in Portbou, on the French-Spanish border, when his attempt to escape Nazi forces was thwarted. Click here to read Benjamin’s penetrating remarks on the  barbarity of the Great War, reprinted from The Storyteller Essays on the Literary Hub web site.


From the World War I Centennial News Podcast

WWI Now:
Philanthropist David Rockefeller, Jr. 

David Rockefeller, Jr.

In August 5th’s edition of the World War I Centennial News Podcast, Episode 134, host Theo Mayer spoke with David Rockefeller Jr., scion of the legendary American family and a very successful business leader and philanthropist in his own right. Mr. Rockefeller is involved in many prestigious non-profit organizations, including the Council on Foreign Relations and the Museum of Modern Art. In the interview, Mr. Rockefeller discusses the connection between his family’s early philanthropic ventures and the First World War, his impression of the National Memorial maquette, and why WWI is important to remember.  Click here to read the entire interview.


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

Now and They - WWI to modern Air force

Episode #135
Focus On: War in The Sky

Episode #135

Host – Theo Mayer

Introduction – Host | @ 01:45

Balloonatic: James Allen Higgs Jr. – Host | @ 04:35

Erwin Bleckley & the Lost Battalion – LtCol Doug Jacobs USA (Ret.) | @ 08:05

WWI War Tech: Interrupter Gear – Host | @ 13:50

PTSD in WWI Pilots – Mark Wilkins | @ 16:40

Eddie Rickenbacker Profile – Host | @ 23:30

Quentin Roosevelt Killed – Host | @ 26:05

New Memorial to WWI Airmen – Michael O’neal & Robert Kasprzack | @ 28:05


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Bundle

World War I Collector’s Bundle $29.95

Collect all commemorative coins and lapel pins in one purchase!

  • Coins: Each piece is die-struck, bronze alloy, with nice gravity (unlike cheaper zinc coins)
  • Enamel inlay provides premium detailing and finish
  • Each coin and pin comes with its own commemorative packaging, adding value and gifting appeal.

This collection includes a WWI Centennial Coin, Centennial Lapel Pin, Bells of Peace Commemorative Coin, Bells of Peace Commemorative Lapel Pin, and U.S. Victory Lapel Pin. Originally sells for $34.35, now only $29.95.

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


Seefried First DIvision certificate

U.S. World War I Centennial Commission Commissioner Monique Brouillet Seefried, Ph.D. participated in the 100th anniversary of the Society of the First Division last week in Washington, DC. On Saturday, August 10, she was designated an honorary member of the 16th Infantry Regiment by an order of the Secretary of the Army for her work to memorialize the 16th Infantry and the 1st Division in World War I, especially in the Argonne. Said Seefried: “It was a great honor.”


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Oscar Lysne

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

Oscar Lysne

Submitted by: Jay Lysne {Grandson} 

Oscar Lysne was born around 1890, Oscar Lysne 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

Oscar Lysne was born in Moscow, Minnesota on June 24th, 1890 to Norwegian immigrants Ole and Kate Lysne. He was mustered into the service on Sept 22, 1917 at Albert Lea, MN. He trained at Camp Dodge, IA and Camp Cody, NM until June 28th, 1918 when he shipped off to France as a replacement.

He landed in Le Havre, France on July 15th, 1918 and was assigned to I Company, 3rd Bn, 166th Infantry Regiment, 42nd Infantry Division. I Company had just suffered very heavy casualties in the Champagne Marne Defensive, including the loss of an entire section in a “sacrifice post”. He first went into action with the Rainbow Division on July 25th, 1918.

Oscar participated in the Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, and Meuse-Argonne Operations, where he was wounded below the knee by machine gun fire and a second time by artillery.

Read Oscar Lysne’s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family’s Story of Service here.


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