WWI DISPATCH February 2020

A newsletter from the World War One Centennial Commission.

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February 2020

Construction fence cover

Phase 1 construction work continues at the site of the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. The graphic construction fence covers, designed by Memorial architect Joseph Weishaar, have been installed, listing the key Memorial sponsors and organizations, along with information and photos. Passersby will be able to see through the panels to follow the ongoing construction work.

Our Forgotten Heroes:
Why don’t we talk about World War I?

“During the ‘Great War’, the United States of America lost over 116,000 of her troops in a span of only 19 months,” writes Jessica Manfre on the We Are the Mighty web site.  “It can be argued that without American’s force beside the allies, the war wouldn’t have ended in victory, but a stalemate. History has documented this impressive and vital piece of our story. So why don’t we talk about it and those incredible heroes that turned the tide for an entire world in the name of democracy?”  Click here to read the entire article about how “America failed its heroes by avoiding that chapter in its history.”

Foundations & Legacy:
General John J. Pershing

"The Loot"

To the fresh-faced and naive cadets at the University of Nebraska, he was “The Loot.” Some 25 years later, he was “The General” to battle-hardened officers of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) at the end of World War I.  Writing in The Officer Review magazine, Kevin Upton explores how John J. Pershing’s experiences on the university campus both shaped and presaged his success on the battlefield in World War I, and his enduring influence on military organizations a century later.  Click here to read the entire thoughtful article.

Lt. Col. Joseph H. Ward:
Doctor, surgeon, soldier

Joseph Ward

Leon Bates “came across Lt. Col. Joseph H. Ward’s name while doing research before returning to college, and came to appreciate his legacy while doing additional dissertation research.” Writing in American Legion magazine, Bates notes that while digging further, “I discovered he was a medical trailblazer and early American Legion member whose achievements – decades before the civil-rights movement – have been largely forgotten.” Click here to read the entire article, and find out how “this first-generation freedman became a successful physician, surgeon, entrepreneur, Army officer, hospital administrator, civic leader, and prominent member and commander of American Legion Post 107 in Indianapolis.”

The Legacy of the World War I: Ft. Des Moines Black Officers Training Camps

Ft. Des Moines grads

One of the most overlooked and neglected stories of African-Americans struggling for their inalienable rights was embodied by the 2,369 Black men who volunteered for training in the two Black Officers Training Camps at Ft. Des Moines, Iowa from June to November, 1917. Hal Chase, professor of African American studies at Des Moines Area Community College, takes up the story of how two of the 2,000 men who trained at Ft. Des Moines and “perceived themselves as the vanguard of their race that would forge a new future” went on to become leaders in the Civil Rights movement. Click here to read Chase’s entire article.

First Memorial to African-American Veterans of WWI Built in West Virginia

Kimball, West Virginia

When the United States entered World War 1, a platoon of 1,500 black soldiers from McDowell County, West Virginia  signed up for the fight.They served our country with distinction, and many were recognized with special honors for their service. A memorial dedicated specifically to the African-American soldiers of the First World War (the first memorial of its kind in the nation) opened in 1928 in Kimball, McDowell County.  Click here to learn more about how the memorial, like the soldiers who it was built to honor, was first a key part of the community, then neglected and forgotten, but now being restored again to its place and role of honor.

Innovative, team-taught class brings scale of World War I into focus through trip to European battlefields

Notre Dame class

More than 20 million people were killed and another 20 million or more were injured in World War I, but it’s difficult for Americans today to wrap their minds around just how catastrophic the conflict was. The last survivors have died, the war wasn’t fought on American soil, and it ended more than a century ago. But a group of Notre Dame students now has more than numbers, texts, or photos to help them understand the devastation. Click here to read more about how an interdisciplinary course combined “conventional battlefield analysis with the collective and individual things people did to understand and come to terms with the war.”

Alabama teen was American WWI hero

Homer Givens

Homer Givens was 19 years old when he received the title of “America’s first World War I hero,” as well as one of France’s highest honors, the Croix de Guerre. Givens, born in Florence, Ala., also received a Purple Heart and is now honored on the Walk of Honor at Florence, AL’s River Heritage Park. Click here to read more about how “the unassuming, bespectacled young man” became “an unlikely hero” for his actions during a bloody battle with German forces in 1917.

Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Lest We Forget Book Cover

“Lest We Forget: The Great War”

World War I Prints from the Pritzker Military Museum & Library 

As the United States commemorates the centennial of World War I, one of the nation’s premier military history institutions pays tribute to the Americans who served and the allies they fought beside to defeat a resourceful enemy with a lavishly illustrated book.  It is an official product of the United States World War One Centennial Commission. The story of WWI is told through the memorable art it spawned―including posters from nations involved in the conflict―and a taut narrative account of the war’s signal events, its major personalities and its tragic consequences; and the timely period photographs that illustrate the awful realities of this revolutionary conflict. Most importantly, this book is a tribute to those who served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and what would become the Air Force. Proceeds from the sale of this book help fund the new National WW1 Memorial in Washington, DC.

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

Time Lapse snip

You can keep track of progress at the new National World War I Memorial through construction site time lapse video, or a live video feed from the site. Click here to take a look, and also find out how you can help finish this national tribute to the 4.7 million Americans who served, and the 116,516 who did not come home from the World War I.

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John Brother Cade

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

John Brother Cade

Submitted by: Johnette Brooks {GA WWI African American Historian}

John Brother Cade was born around 1894. John Brother Cade served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1917.

Story of Service

2nd Lt. John Brother Cade, 1894 – 1970, Elberton, GA
Southern University Library Namesake
| Historian | Author | Educator

By Johnette Brooks

John Brother Cade (aka John B.) was born on 19 October 1894 in Elberton, GA. He was the second child of William Richard and Sara Francis (Bradford) Cade. His siblings are his elder brother Luther (also a WWI Private); William Jr.; Dora J.; Luthura and Leola. He attended St. Paul’s CME Church grade school. In 1915, he graduated from Knox Institute and Industrial School in Athens, GA. He was an early member of the C.M.E. or Colored Methodist Church.

Shortly after entering college, John became one of the first to volunteer for the new WWI Officers School in 1917. On 12 June, he was plowing his daddy’s field during the summer college break when he received the notice of his appointment shortly after 8AM. After refusing to pay double the bus fare to a negro man in Elberton with a car, he took the Greyhound bus and arrived too late to take the 3:40PM, non-stop train the Army provided to Iowa. So, he boarded the Dixie Flyer the next day and immediately saw faces he recognized. He first saw (future 1 Lt.) Pierce M. Thompson, the Albany Normal and Industrial School principal; then William Robinson, an Albany teacher; John J. James, a mail carrier from Thomasville.

Read John Brother Cade’s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family’s Story of Service here.

This email was sent to mkbarbour@gmail.com using GovDelivery Communications Cloud on behalf of: World War One Centennial Commission · 701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW #123 · Washington, DC 20004

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