Category Archives: World War One Centennial Commission

Bells of Peace App is updated

This app was a nice addition to one of our previous services, and we encourage you to check it out.


Foundation and bells dual logo
Five start 260

More Info on Bells of Peace >

bells of peace lead graphic

“Bells of Peace” is transforming into an annual tradition.


In 2018 we launched the Bells of Peace initiative to create a national bell tolling at 11am local on 11/11 as a WWI Armistice Centennial remembrance.

Tens of thousands of individuals, communities and organizations participated including a proclamation from every state in the U.S., every branch of the military service, hundreds of churches, posts, chapters, cities and communities.

As we transition out of the centennial period, and based on your responses and requests, we are going to promote “Bells of Peace” as an annual moment of remembrance when we stop, and take a few minutes on Veterans Day to reflect, remember and honor those who served and sacrificed in what was suppose to be “The War to end all Wars” – but instead became “The War that Changed the World”.

Learn more about the Bells of Peace initiative


No Bell? No Problem! The APP

Bells of peace icon

Your are receiving this email because you downloaded the ” Bells of Peace” Participation App in the past and we wanted to let you know the new 2020 version has now published with some important new features and updates including:

  1. Built-in testing capabilities and diagnostics to help ensure that your tolling plans come off just as intended. If your smartphone speaker is muted, we will let you know. If you are not connected to the internet which could affect your clock, we will let you know.
  2. We have brought back the social sharing that allows participants to post their plans, ideas, and tolling to FB, Insta, Twitter or Youtube with the hashtag #BellsOfPeace, which will allow us to bring the posts right into the App. The concept is to build a community of participation and grow this over the years to come.
  3. At 1am on 11/12, the countdown timer will now automatically reset and start to countdown to November 11, 2021. That is also the Centennial for the internment of the Unknown Soldier. More on that over the coming year.

Demo of Testing Features


Online Tolling

In this Pandemic year, getting a group together for a commemoration may be challenging. This makes the Bells of Peace Participation App even more useful.

A great idea for 2020 is to have a “Bells of Peace Zoom Tolling”.

We will publish an article into the App on how to do that. There is a …More section with updating article capability built in.

In the meantime, make sure you have the latest version installed. If your phone does not auto install the update, delete the app and install it again.

Go to your smartphone app store and search for “Bells of Peace” or use the links below.

Thank you for being a part of this!

Get it on Google Play
Download on the App Store

WWI Webinar Series: “POPPYGANDA: The Historical & Social Impact of a Flower”

Note these up-coming webinars from the World War One Centennial Commission.


WWI Webinar Series

Building the National WWI Memorial
In Washington, D.C.

Dough Foundation with WWI Commission logo

Friday October 09, 2020 , 1p Eastern •  “Poppyganda: The Historical & Social Impact of a Flower

Poppyganda square


Friday, October 09, 2020 @ 1pm Eastern

2020 Webinar Series
“Poppyganda”

with Author Mathew Leonard


“Poppyganda: The Historical & Social Impact of a Flower”
features Dr. Mathew Leonard, author of the book by the same title.

The Poppy is an enduring symbol of WWI. It is an icon that embodies a century of attitudes toward that incredible conflict, however, the poppy’s association with warfare predates 1914 and its legacy is still evolving today.

Dr. Mathew Leonard is a modern conflict archeologist at the University of Bristol in the UK – a very interesting field in its own right.

In 2015 he authored “Poppyganda” which is not only a very clever book title, but also a very clever book as he charts the history of the flower of remembrance through its role from the conflict on the western front until today.

We will also introduce you to the “Bells of Peace” National Bell Tolling program, show you how to pledge, organize, and to Toll The Bell on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in remembrance of those who served in WWI . We will also preview our free Bells of Peace Participation App that will help you be a part of our community of remembrance.


Click to Register


Bonus Feature

immigrant in wwi

As a bonus feature we will close the webinar with the short 6 minute documentary “Immigrants and WWI” from our How WWI Changed America teaching and learning resources.

DID YOU KNOW: Between 1880 and 1910, 17 million immigrants came to the United States; when WWI broke out, nearly 15% of the population was foreign born. Many of the immigrants were from nations embroiled in WWI. This fostered a deep concern by America’s leaders that getting involved in the war would tear us apart.

Register and watch later:

If you are back at work, or can’t make it live for ANY reason, please register anyway and we will point you to the video of the webinar over the weekend.

Click to Register



View videos from our Previous 2020 Webinar Series



WWI DISPATCH September 2020

A newsletter from World War One Centennial Commission.


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Header Image 09172019

September 2020

Doughboys board ship for UK

Sculptor Sabin Howard (right) supervises the loading of the first 11 clay figures of the sculpture for the National World War I Memorial into a shipping container at his studio in Englewood, NJ this month. Protected by custom-made bracing and referigation in the container, the figures are now aboard ship and on their way to Pangolin Studios in the United Kingdom, where they will be rendered into bronze using classical casting techniques. The entire sculpture is forecast for completion in 2023. For more information on the National World War I Memorial, visit ww1cc.org/memorial.


“Poppyganda: The Historical & Social Impact of a Flower” webinar October 9

Matt Leonard

Register now for our next webinar on Friday, October 9, 2020,1:00 pm EDT: “Poppyganda: The Historical & Social Impact of a Flower.” The Poppy is an enduring symbol of WWI. It is an icon that embodies a century of attitudes toward that incredible conflict; however, the poppy’s association with warfare predates 1914, and its legacy is still evolving today.  Dr. Mathew Leonard (left) is a modern conflict archeologist at the University of Bristol in the UK – a very interesting field in its own right. In 2015 he authored “Poppyganda” which is not only a very clever book title, but also a very clever book, as he charts the history of the flower of remembrance through its history, and its role from the conflict on the western front to today.

Poppyganda cover

We will also introduce you to the Bells of Peace National Bell Tolling program, show you how to pledge, organize, and to Toll The Bell in remembrance of those who served in WWI on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. We will also preview our free Bells of Peace Participation App that will help you be a part of our community remembrance.

As a bonus feature, we will close the webinar the short 6 minute documentary “Immigrants and WWI” from our “How WWI Changed America” teaching and learning resources.

Click to Register for the Webinar Now!


Sign Up to Participate for the 11/11/20 “Bells of Peace” National Bell Tolling and Receive Free App Download Info

Bells of Peace screen shot 092920

Don’t forget to sign up to participate in the “Bells of Peace” national bell tolling in remembrance of those who served and sacrificed in World War I.  Click here to sign up to participate and receive info about the free “Bells of Peace” participation App.

You may also enjoy reading our daily WWI “Countdown” posts to 11 am on 11/11/2020. The “Bells of Peace” posts on FacebookInstagram and Twitter follow the 100-day offensive that lead to the Armistice in 1918.

The new Bells of Peace Participation App will include: 7 bell sounds that will toll at 11am local time on November 11; an “Aggregator” so you can share stories, pics and plans for your “Bells of Peace” remembrance by using #BellsOfPeace. With the App you can toll manually or set it to “Toll” automatically at 11am local.  The Bells App will toll, as per the tradition, 21 times, 5 seconds apart on all the phones.

Plan your remembrance now, virtual or in-person, and share ww1cc.org/bells with your friends, family and organizations!


Reading, PA WWI veteran laid to rest after 54 years thanks to Exeter woman

Lewis Hamilton flag

When Ayden Biancone’s grandmother moved into a new house 15 years ago, she found something unexpected in the back of a cupboard: a cardboard box containing a paint-can-like cylinder holding the ashes of Lewis Hamilton, who died in 1966. Ayden learned of the can when her grandmother put the house up for sale in 2020, and decided that the ashes deserved a more permanent home. “I thought, ‘We have to find his family,’ ” she said. “This was someone’s loved one.” Click here to read more about her search for Hamilton’s identity, his World War I service that she discovered, and the fitting funeral, so long delayed, that finally took place due to her efforts.


Did racism deprive Latino WWI hero Marcelino Serna of the Medal of Honor? He deserves it, advocates say.

Marcelino Serna

In vintage photos, Marcelino Serna wears his World War I Army uniforms that are festooned with several of his battle medals. But one medal is missing — the Medal of Honor — that should have been draped around his neck a century ago, Latino advocates, legislators, and historians said. They’ve launched the latest effort to persuade the federal government to posthumously award Serna the medal, the nation’s highest honor for battlefield heroics, arguing it was denied because of racism and xenophobia. Click here to read the entire article, and learn more about “the most decorated World War I soldier from Texas” and why he deserves the nation’s highest honor.


Silk and Steel at National WWI Museum & Memorial highlights surprisingly important role of women’s fashion during Great War

Silk and Steel

The National WWI Museum and Memorial is pleased to invite you to itsr newest special exhibition, Silk and Steel: French Fashion, Women and WWI, open to the public as of Sept. 25.

Silk and Steel highlights the surprisingly important role of women’s fashion during WWI, especially in France. During a time of global upheaval, women were taking on new responsibilities and roles, and fashion adapted to the necessities of these new actions, scarcity of materials and ever-present societal needs.Dresses, capes, posters and accessories tell the story. Through the lens of fashion, come see this exciting exhibition that shows how the war impacted domestic life, created new businesses and provided new opportunities for women. Click here to read more about this exhibit, and how the Museum is making their facility safe for visitors during the COVID pandemic..


“Letters from a Yankee Doughboy”: Stafford author shares grandfather’s accounts of World War I

Raymond W. Maker

Bruce “Doc” Norton and his wife, Helen, had dug into the pile of letters once before. At their home in Stafford County, Norton typed and Helen dictated words penned from freezing trenches and decimated villages somewhere in France during World War I. But when the computer on which they’d begun their work disappeared, the project to bring the letters to life stalled. Months passed, and now it was 2018, the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI. Helen was no relation Pfc. Raymond W. Maker of Framington, Mass., a wireman who strung communication lines on the muddy battlefields of France in 1918. Nor had she ever met the man–Bruce’s grandfather. But Helen wanted to see the letters brought to life. And she knew that Norton—a combat veteran and career Marine infantry officer-turned-author of military history—was just the person to make that happen. Click here to read more about how the husband and wife team turned the letters into a book, and the amazing historical discoveries they made in the process.


“Patriot Priest of Picardy” ministered to Doughboys on the front lines in WWI

William Anthony Hemmick

Patricia Daly-Lipe first met Msgr. William Hemmick, her mother’s only living relative, in 1961, when she was 19 and had just completed her sophomore year at Vassar College. Her mother had died the year before and Daly-Lipe wanted to meet her uncle, about whom she knew very little except that he was a Canon of St. Peter’s Basilica. The man she met “was a jovial gentleman who was friends with everyone from the Pope, to royalty, to the little boy on the street looking for food. He befriended those he met at Mass and those he knew on the street, those who lived the high-life and those who lived through and survived the ravages of war.” It was not until years later, after his demise, that Daly-Lipe came to know about her uncle’s extraordinary role in WWI. Click here to learn more about how Hemmick’s calling led him to support those in battle, and the book that Daly-Lipe has written to tell his amazing story of service.


The Sedition and Espionage Acts Were Designed to Quash Dissent During WWI

Sedition and Espionage Act

When the United States finally decided to enter World War I in 1917, there was opposition at home by those who wanted America to remain neutral in the European conflict and groups who actively opposed the draft, the first of its kind in the country. Fearing that anti-war speeches and street pamphlets would undermine the war effort, President Woodrow Wilson and Congress passed two laws, the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918, that criminalized any “disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language” about the U.S. government or military, or any speech intended to “incite insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty.” Vestiges of these laws, viewed as some of the most egregious violations of the Constitution’s free speech protections, still linger today. Click here to learn more about the panic that spawned this legislation, and how court cases over the years eliminated most of their overreach.


How Fundraising Fraud Became Big Business After World War I

Post-war charity fraud article

Organizations that soft-hearted Americans were warned against in the years after the First World War, whether ineffectual charities with nefarious scams or just mismanaged, were making a whole lot more money after the armistice. The drives that raised funds for the war effort and foreign relief during the war had inadvertently created an army of consultants ready to offer their services to every church, league, and club in the country. Raising money for a cause — or, pejoratively, systematic begging — was a new sector in the economy of sentiment, and it was big business. Click here to read the entire article and learn how public generosity after WWI, as now, needed to be tempered with public oversight to avoid fraud.


They Were There: American Women Physicians and the First World War

Women Doctors

During World War I, for the first time in American history, women participated on a large scale in war efforts through the military and other government agencies. Although much is known about the importance of medicine during WWI, most of the focus has been on male physicians who served abroad. Tens of thousands of women went abroad as nurses, ambulance drivers, and relief workers, but the contributions of women physicians in the war are less well known. An article on the The Permanente Journal web site sheds light on these underrecognized women leaders of WWI. Click here to explore the barriers these doctors faced, and the opportunities they created for women in the century since the end of World War I.


“The 1918 flu is still with us”: Deadliest pandemic ever still causing problems

Pandemic

In 1918, a novel strand of influenza killed more people than the 14th century’s Black Plague. At least 50 million people died worldwide because of that H1N1 influenza outbreak. In the middle of today’s novel coronavirus outbreak, some are turning to the conclusion of past pandemics to discern how and when life might “return to normal.” The Washington Post has received a few dozen questions from readers who want historical context for our current epidemic. But how did the deadliest pandemic ever recorded come to an end? “The 1918 flu is still with us,” said Ann Reid, the executive director of the National Center for Science Education who successfully sequenced the genetic makeup of the 1918 influenza virus in the 1990s. “It never went away.” Click here to read more, and learn how the lingering lineage of the 1918 flu can still be discerned in the current international pandemic.


Did unusual climate conditions influence WWI mortality and the subsequent Spanish flu pandemic?

Flu victims

Scientists may have spotted a once-in-a-century climate anomaly during World War I that likely increased mortality during the war and the influenza pandemic in the years that followed. Well-documented torrential rains and unusually cold temperatures affected the outcomes of many major battles on the Western Front during the war years of 1914 to 1918. Most notably, the poor conditions played a role in the battles of Verdun and the Somme, during which more than one million soldiers were killed or wounded. The bad weather may also have exacerbated the Spanish flu pandemic that claimed 50 to 100 million lives between 1917 and 1919. Scientists have long studied the spread of the H1N1 influenza strain that caused the pandemic, but little research has focused on whether environmental conditions played a role. Click here to read about the new study in the American Geophysical Union journal GeoHealth, and how scientists analyzing an ice core taken from a glacier in the European Alps were able to  reconstruct climate conditions during the war years, and its malignant war mortality and public health side-effects during that period..


Arlington County, VA Recognized for Clarendon War Memorial Project

Arlington Memorial wins award

Arlington County, Virginia’s Historic Preservation Program staff and Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) were honored with a Commission Excellence Award in the category of Best Practices: Public Outreach/Advocacy from the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions (NAPC) in August, recognizing the work of County staff and the HALRB on the Clarendon War Memorial Interpretive Project. The Clarendon project was sponsored in part by the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials program of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. Click here to find out more about this great local World War I memorial project, and the well-deserved NAPC award that it received.


Doughboy MIA for September 2020

Albert Louis Agnew

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is PVT Albert Louis Agnew, ASN 56619, Company A/28th Infantry Regiment/1st Division. Born October 23rd, 1895 in Keokuk, Iowa, Agnew was working in Huntington, West Virginia when he enlisted in the US Army at Ft. Thomas, Kentucky on April 2nd, 1917. He was a small man, just five feet four and a half inches tall and weighed just 125 pounds. Agnew shipped out with the first contingent of American troops sent to France on June 7th, 1917 aboard the SS Antilles and thus served with the 1st Division. He saw action in the US’s first all American effort, the Battle of Cantigny, where he was wounded by machine-gun fire and cited for bravery.

That summer of 1918, the 1st Division participated in the Battle of Soissons. There the 1stDivision was brigaded to the far left of the battle line, with the 28th Regiment just right of the French 153rd Division. On the morning of July 18th, 1918, the 28th went into action with their 2nd and 3rd Battalions in assault and the 1st Battalion in reserve. All through the 18th the 2nd and 3rd Battalions were pounded unmercifully at a place called Missy Ravine. A later write up on the battle noted how bad it was for these two battalions:

The commanders of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions decided they needed to combine forces to reach the eastern edge of the ravine. Wading elsewhere through the waist deep swamp, the combined force made it up the eastern bank of Missy Ravine and captured all the guns by 9:30 am. While still under heavy machine-gun fire, the men formed a consolidated line 300 yd (274 m) east of Breuil. Having lost all of its officers, 2nd Battalion was reorganized into five small platoons plus a machine gun platoon, each commanded by a sergeant.

The next morning the 2nd and 3rd tried to attack again at 4:00 am but were stopped cold. In order to kick start the drive in the 28th’s sector, the fresh 1st Battalion was now called up to lead the attack in. This battalion included PVT Albert Agnew. When the fighting ended on July 19th, The 28th Infantry Regiment had struggled as far as Ploisy Ravine and still maintained contact with the French 153rd Division on their left. That afternoon of the 20th the 28th attacked again, but were held virtually in place by intense German machine gun and artillery fire and it was there that PVT Agnew was killed. The battle would not wrap up (an Allied victory) until the 23rd. Soissons was a turning point; from then on until the end of the war, the Germans facing the American troops were in retreat.

Following the war, PVT Agnew’s battlefield grave was never located. Then, on February 13th, 1925, two sets of remains were found buried in the same hole near the Commune of Ploisy. The first set of remains were identified as those of PVT Dewitt Facundus of Company D/28th Infantry, KIA on July 20th, 1918. The other set however went unidentified and were designated as U-1661. The collar discs on these remains indicated the man had been in Company A/28th Infantry, but there were no other identifiers. A check of the lists of unlocated for Company A of the 28th Infantry in that area and time frame of battle showed one man missing – PVT Albert Agnew. However, no dental records existed for PVT Agnew and without any way to ID the remains found one way or the other, they were laid to rest at the Aisne-Marne Cemetery at Belleau Wood as Unknown. PVT Agnew’s case remained open until investigations were suspended on August 20th, 1932 and the case permanently closed. PVT Agnew’s name was later carved into the Wall of the Missing at the Aisne-Marne Cemetery chapel.

The likelihood of the remains designated U-1661 being those of Albert Agnew are very high, but at this time there is no determination that can be made.

Wouldn’t you like to be part of the important work we do in accounting for the missing US service personnel from The Great War? Well sure you would! Why not consider a tax-deductible donation to Doughboy MIA? Just hop on over to www.ww1cc.org/mia and make your donation today, and know you did your part.

Remember: a man is only missing if he is forgotten.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Navy ¼ Zipper Fleece Sweatshirt

Navy ¼ Zipper Fleece Sweatshirt

Inspired by the iconic image of a U.S. Doughboy, you can wear your American pride with this Made in the USA ¼ zipper fleece sweatshirt. An informal term for a member of the U.S. Army or Marine Corps, “Doughboys” especially used to refer to the American Expeditionary Forces in World War One. Largely comprised of young men who had dropped out of school to join the army, this poignant lone silhouette of a soldier in trench warfare serves as a reminder of those who sacrificed so much one century ago.

Sweatshirt features: Navy with white Doughboy embroidery. 80% cotton/20% polyester,  9.5 Oz. High quality heavy weight pre-shrunk fabric. Sweatshirt has ¼  zip pullover with cadet collar and silver metal zipper. Ribbed cuffs and waistband with spandex. Cover-seamed arm holes. Mens’ sizes available Small and Medium. Proceeds from the sale of this item will help to fund the building of the national World War One Memorial in Washington, D.C.

A Certificate of Authenticity as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial is included.

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


Memorial Camera

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 World War I.


Virtual Explorer

Click or scan the QR Code below to download the Virtual Explorer App for the National World War I Memorial, and explore what the Memorial will look like when work is completed.

QR Code for Virtual Explorer App download


Education Thumb Drive image

Free Self-Contained WWI History Web Site on YOUR computer

Sources, lessons, activities, videos, podcasts, images

We have packaged all the content we created for “How WWI Changed America” into a format that is essentially a web site on a drive. Download the content onto any drive (USB, external, or as a folder on your computer), and all the content is accessible in a web site type format even without an internet connection. Click here to learn more, and download this amazing educational resource for home or classroom use.


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Ernest L. Wrentmore, Jr.

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

Ernest L Wrentmore Jr.

Submitted by: K.C. Picard-Krone {State World War 1 historian}

Ernest L Wrentmore, Jr. was born around 1904. Ernest Wrentmore 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

Ernest L. Wrentmore, Jr. was the 12 year (10 months) old son of Maude Vinora and Dr. Ernest Wrentmore Sr of West Farmingham, Ohio who decided on the morning of September 28, 1917 to skip school and enlist in the Army. A big, strapping boy who easily passed for a young man on the brink of manhood, Ernest was five foot six in his stocking feet, and weighed over 145 pounds. He easily passed the physicals and no one questioned the vital statistics he scribbled down on the enlistment documents: Henry E. Monroe of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, age 18.

His distraught family became aware of his disappearance when Ernest didn’t return home that night and they started a search of the area. Finally a clue to his whereabouts surfaced eight months later when the Army mailed an overseas card to their home address in May. By this time he had already made the perilous trek through the German submarine infested waters to the Western Front in France.

Read Ernest L. Wrentmore, Jr.’s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family’s Story of Service here.


Honor the Stories of Service of ALL Who Served.

Do Your Bit to Help Build the new National World War I Memorial.

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WWI Webinar Series: “Doughboys Leave New Jersey For UK 2020”

Note the webinars below from World War One Centennial Commission.


WWI Webinar Series

Building the National WWI Memorial
In Washington, D.C.

Dough Foundation with WWI Commission logo

Friday September 11, 2020 , 1p Eastern •  “Doughboys Leave New Jersey for UK – in 2020!

Doughboys leave NJ for UK poster


Friday, September 11, 2020 @ 1pm Eastern

A VERY SPECIAL WEBINAR
An insider Update on the WWI Memorial


In 1917 and 1918, 1.7 million newly recruited Doughboys left the shores of New Jersey headed “Over There”.

Military Historian, Dr. Mitchell Yockelson joins us with some great insights about New Jersey’s role in WWI.

in 2020 HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF, as the 38-figure WWI Memorial sculpture,
“A Soldier’s Journey” is crafted in Englewood, New Jersey. The first 11 sculpted figures are finished and getting ready to leave New Jersey for the foundry in the UK.

This webinar offers a unique opportunity to see all 38 figures assembled at scale and in one place, before the first 11 ship out.

We will take you inside Sabin Howard Studio where the sculptor gives us
up-close and personal insight into the process of creating this masterwork.

We have an update for you on the WWI Memorial construction, and if you have not heard yet, WE’LL REVEAL WHEN THE FENCES ARE COMING DOWN for public access to the WWI Memorial.

Spoiler alert… It is in 2020.


Click to Register


Short Documentary Bonus

Documentary Going to War poster frame

We will close with a short documentary from our “How WWI Changed America” Series: “America Goes To War”

Did you know… that just two days after Germany invaded Belgium in August of 1914, the First Lady, Ellen Wilson died at the White House leaving Woodrow Wilson distraught and distracted as the biggest global crisis in history unfolded?

If you are back at work, or can’t make it live for ANY reason, please register anyway and we will point you to the video of the webinar over the weekend.

It promises to be very special.

Click to Register



View videos from our Previous 2020 Webinar Series



WWI Dispatch August 2020

A newsletter from the World War One Centennial Commission.


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Header Image 09172019

August 2020

Doughboys Ship to UK in 2020 webinar

“Doughboys Leave New Jersey for UK – in 2020!” Webinar Friday, September 11

In 1917 and 1918, America sent many Doughboys “Over There” from our shores in New Jersey, headed for the UK and the nation’s entry into World War I. In September 2020, the first 11 figures of the 48-figure bronze sculpture “A Soldier’s Journey” being created for the National World War I Memorial are getting ready to ship out for the foundry in the UK, where, like the raw Doughboys of 100 years ago were turned into an incredible fighting force, the clay sculpted figures will be cast into enduring metal.

Before this first contingent ships out, you have a last and unique opportunity to view the entire 48-figure ensemble, assembled in the Englewood, NJ studio where they are being created by sculptor Sabin Howard, during our “The Doughboys Leave New Jersey for the UK – in 2020!” webinar on Friday, September 11, 1:00 p.m. EDT.

This webinar is the last chance to see all 48 figures assembled at full scale in one place until the completed bronze sculpture is installed at the national WWI Memorial in Washington, DC several years from now.

Mitch Yockelson

We will open the webinar with an update on the Memorial construction, and reveal when the fences are coming down for public access to the National WWI Memorial. Next, historian and author Dr. Mitchell Yockelson (left) will give us some insight into what was happening in New Jersey 100 years ago as the newly minted soldiers and raw recruits prepared to embark for the war zone and combat.

Sabin Howard mug

Then Master Sculptor Sabin Howard (right)  will walk us through the 48 clay figures, in different stages of completion, which are being created for eventual casting into bronze.  You’ll get a close look at the intricate details of the sculpting from the artist himself, and a deep understanding of the creative process.

And apropos our theme, we are closing with the short documentary “How WWI Changed America: Going To War”.

Click here to register for this unique webinar.  Advance registration is required, so sign up now!


Updates to WWI Memorial “Virtual Explorer” App published in August

App updated Aug 2020

A new release was published in late August that was the result of extensive user testing done the previous month. Release 1.2 iOS &1.4 Android feature a new “Getting Started” explainer video at the top of the app. Post-update testing resulted in all testers successfully using the app within a couple of minutes of starting it – a dramatic improvement.

Many other usability features have been updated to make the WWI Memorial Virtual Explorer not just easier to get going on, but also easier to use and enjoy. Testing and refining continues.  Click here or the image at left to download the latest version.


Countown: 100 Days to Bells of Peace 2020 logo

Update on “Bells of Peace” National bell tolling in remembrance of those who served and sacrificed in World War I

The Countdown to Bells of Peace is continuing on our social media platforms FacebookTwitter and Instagram, headed for November 11, 2020, when everyone is invited to toll the “Bells of Peace” in honor of all those who served and sacrificed in World War I.

Everyone who wants to participate but does not have a bell to toll, the Doughboy Foundation has committed to updating the Bells of Peace App for 2020. For those who are not familiar with it, the App allows users to select from 7 different bell sounds that will toll at 11am local time on November 11th. Since that is Veterans Day, the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month is the time to remember our Doughboys. With the Bells of Peace App open on their phones, organizations, individuals and groups can toll the bells together, 21 times, 5 seconds apart.

Unlike years past, the 2020 update of the Bells of Peace App will focus on allowing users as groups or individuals to test their tolling in advance to be sure the moment comes off without a hitch. Additionally, we are creating a social media aggregation inside the app so that anyone participating can share theirs as a group (even if all participants are remote) by posting to the #BellsOfPeace hashtag.

You can download the limited 2019 version NOW to play with the bell sounds because the same app will update to the 2020 version in October. Got to your phone’s App store and search for Bells of Peace.


Change coming for segregated Loudoun County, VA World War I memorial

Loudoun County plaque

The bronze plaque on the Loudoun County World War I Memorial has stood in the heart of Leesburg for nearly 100 years. Located on the county courthouse grounds, the plaque lists the names of the 30 service members from Loudoun who died during war. Segregated by two engraved lines, on top are the names of 27 white service members; below are three Black men who equally gave their lives for America.

The dividing line may soon be gone.

Click here to read more about efforts to change the plaque in time for the 100th anniversary of the memorial’s installation.


World War I chemical munitions cleanup finally ‘complete’ in Washington, DC

Cleanup in DC complete

The decades-long effort to clean up a World War I chemical munitions hazardous site in Washington, DC (reported on here previously) located just southwest of the American University campus, is now complete, according to the project’s manager. Click here to read more about what it took to finally render “the mother of all toxic dumps” safe again.


Flying tribute planned for Wichita, KS World War I Medal of Honor aviator

Bleckley mug

The Bleckley Airport Memorial Foundation is on a mission to ensure a piece of history flies the skies of Wichita all to honor 2nd Lt. Erwin Bleckley, one of eight to be awarded the Medal of Honor during the “Lost Battalion” episode, and one of the only four members of the U.S. Army’s Air Service to be awarded Medals of Honor in WWI. Click here to read more about the effort to put the aircraft that Bleckley flew to back into air worthy status.


Ludovicus Maria Matheus Van Iersel: An Immigrant Hero of World War I

Ludovicus Maria Matheus Van Iersel

During the First World War, thousands of foreign-born citizens and immigrants joined the United States military as the nation tried to meet the massive manpower requirements of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). Of these immigrant combatants, 13 received the Medal of Honor for their wartime valor. One of these men, Ludovicus Matheus Van Iersel, volunteered to serve again in the Second World War — in the U.S. Marine Corps!.  Click here to read the fascinating story of this American fighting man from the Netherlands, and his service in two wars.


100 Years Ago: Dedication of the World War I Memorial in Scranton, PA

Scranton snip

The Lackawanna Historical Society’s History Bytes publication, Janice M. Gavern, Deputy Commander, Woman Veterans Issues, for the 15th District American Legion, Department of Pennsylvania, tells the story of the creation of the World War I Memorial in the Scranton, PA’s Nay Aug Park. Click here to read the entire story of how citizens determined that the sacrifice of the 242 men and six women from Scranton who gave their lives in World War I would be remembered.


World War I changed American attitudes about women’s suffrage

Suffrage sign

While American women had been fighting for the right to vote for decades prior to the ratification of the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920, it was not until World War I that their cause for political independence regained momentum, argues legal scholar Pamela S. Karlan. Interviewed on the Futurity web site, Karlan discusses what the 19th Amendment accomplished and the challenges that persist today. Click here to read the entire interview.


World War I Austerity Couldn’t Stop the Fashion Show – “a patriotic duty”

Lucile - or Lady Duff Gordone

Modern shoppers can frame almost any purchase in moral terms. Think of all those people getting takeout to support local restaurants during the pandemic. As theater historian Marlis Schweitzer explains, one foremother of this attitude was British fashion designer Lucile, or Lady Duff Gordon. She promoted luxury consumption as a patriotic duty in the face of government-backed austerity campaigns during the First World War in New York. Click here to learn more,including Lucile’s insistence that “it was the duty of every wife, sweetheart and mother to spend as much on dress as they could possibly afford in order to make the best of themselves for the sake of the men in the trenches.”


A pandemic, never-maskers, and open-air meetings: Welcome to 1918

Mask or jail

As America and the world continue the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the lessons from World War I and the Spanish Flu Pandemic continue to resonate. Writing in the Edmonds Beacon newspaper in Washington state, Betty Lou Gaen recalls how the disease had killed over 5,000 of the state’s residents by 1918. Adrija Roychowdhury writes in The Indian Express newspaper of “Lessons from the 1918 Spanish flu: When mask laws triggered protests in the United States.” On the the history.com web site, Becky Little explores “‘Mask Slackers’ and ‘Deadly’ Spit: The 1918 Flu Campaigns to Shame People Into Following New Rules.” TEN magazine, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, carries an article about how “During the deadly flu pandemic, Fed drove vital funding for World War I” in 1918. But if you have already heard enough comparisons between the COVID-19 and Spanish Flu pandemics, try this: “Another WWI throwback: Trench Fever Spread by Lice Found in Denver.”

Stay healthy out there!


Doughboy MIA for August 2020

DOughboy MIA Generic image

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is Private Homer A. Armstrong, of Philomath, Oregon.

Homer Alexander Armstrong was born January 18th, 1892 in the town of Paddock, in Gage County Nebraska to Irene and John E. Armstrong. Homer was one of three sons; himself, and younger brothers Clarence and John Jr. There had also been two girls born – one before Homer (Minnie, in 1888) and one just before Clarence (Louisa, in 1893) but both died in infancy.  John Senior himself died in 1899 shortly before John Junior was born, and in 1904 Clarence died at age 9. In about 1910 Homer went to live with his mother’s sister and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Alex J. Brown. Then, when Irene died in 1915, John Jr. joined them and they all moved to Philomath, Oregon.

Shortly before the declaration of war, Homer made the decision to enlist in the Oregon National Guard and was assigned to Company K of the 3rd Oregon Infantry, based in Corvallis. When the 3rd Oregon Infantry Regiment was federalized, they became the Headquarters Company of the 162nd Infantry Regiment/41st Division. After receiving training, Homer left with the 41st for France on December 12th, 1917.

In France the 41st Division was redesignated the 1st Depot Division and immediately began feeding its infantry units piecemeal into combat units to fill battle casualties. Homer was sent to the 32nd Division as a replacement sometime after May 1918, being assigned to Company D of the 127th Infantry. In late July the 32nd moved into the Chateau Thierry sector to relieve the 3rd Division, which had seen heavy combat over the previous three months.

On the night of July 29th, the 127th Infantry moved into the front lines under a terrible artillery barrage. At 1430 hours on July 30th, 1918 the 127th went over the top and followed a rolling barrage into the Bois des Grimpettes. They pushed through the woods until they were stopped by machine gun fire from the right flank. On this flank, from positions in the Bois de Cierges, the Germans continued to oppose every effort to advance, but the 127th gained the edge of those woods and established themselves there. During the night the Germans launched a counter attack from the Bois de Meuniere and a bayonet melee raged for hours in the dark, tangled woods, until the attacking force was finally routed.

On the morning of July 31st, the regiment was again in action, pushing their attack through the Bois de Meuniere and into the village of Cierges and beyond. North of the village they were held up by a withering hail of machine gun fire from Bellevue Farm, which the Germans had organized into a very strong center of resistance and which the U.S. artillery had failed to smother.

It was there, north of Cierges during heavy fighting that afternoon that Homer Armstrong was killed by machine gun fire. His comrades buried him in a hasty battlefield grave that day, the position of which was reported to Graves Registration Service. Nevertheless, when GRS officials went looking for the grave after the war, it could not be located. Homer remains missing to this day, and is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery at Belleau, France.

Postscript:

At the beginning of 2020, Doughboy MIA was contacted by Mr. Eric Niemann, the Mayor of Philomath, Oregon. The city council wished to honor Homer among the veterans from their town, but they were finding little information and asked if we could help. Slowed by Covid but undeterred, the Doughboy MIA team went to work and chronicled Homer’s story in a full report and sent it to Mayor Niemann. The result was that a city resolution was passed proclaiming July 31st ‘Homer Armstrong Day’ in Philomath. Thus it was that, 102 years after his death, Homer was again remembered, and will be every year from now on; to be forgotten no more.

And a man is only missing if he is forgotten.

This is a beautiful example of your donations at work. Because of your donations the research materials needed to investigate and chronicle Homer’s story were available to us. Thank you! You made a difference with us. And if you haven’t donated and would like to in order to be part of our work, hop on over to our website at www.ww1cc.org/mia and make your tax-deducible donation today.


Official WWI Centennial Merchandise

Mug

White Ceramic
WWI Centennial
Mug

Featuring the iconic Doughboy silhouette flanked by barbed wire so prevalent during WWI, you can enjoy your favorite beverage in this 15-ounce ceramic mug and honor the sacrifices made by American soldiers, sailors, and Marines in World War I.

Proceeds from the sale of this item will help build the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC.

A Certificate of Authenticity as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial is included.

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


Memorial Camera

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 World War I.

QR Code for Virtual Explorer App download

Click or scan the QR Code above to download the Virtual Explorer App for the National World War I Memorial, and explore what the Memorial will look like when work is completed.

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Free Self-Contained WWI History Web Site on YOUR computer

Sources, lessons, activities, videos, podcasts, images

We have packaged all the content we created for “How WWI Changed America” into a format that is essentially a web site on a drive. Download the content onto any drive (USB, external, or as a folder on your computer), and all the content is accessible in a web site type format even without an internet connection. Click here to learn more, and download this amazing educational resource for home or classroom use.


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Lewis Lawrence Lacey

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

Lewis Lawrence Lacey

Submitted by: Laura Lacey Caldwell {Daughter}

Lewis Lawrence Lacey born around 1895. Lewis Lacey 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

Military Biography

Corporal Lewis Lacey served in France during the Great War as a proud member of the 42nd Division of the American Expeditionary Forces.

The eldest son of Dr. Lewis and Forney (Beaumont) Lacey, he was born in San Antonio, Texas, on March 27, 1895, and raised in Austin, Texas, where his father established his medical practice on Congress Avenue, a stone’s throw from the Texas state capitol building.

Lewis Lacey, like his three younger brothers, was educated in the Austin public schools and later attended the University of Texas in that city. During his youth, when the stifling heat of summer blanketed Austin, Lewis and his brothers would spend their school vacation camping, swimming, fishing and hunting at nearby Lake Austin. Those early camping experiences undoubtedly helped prepare him for the primitive living conditions in the hastily constructed military training camps both in the United States and in France, where sometimes his only shelter was the pup tent he carried in his backpack.

On May 25, 1917, just one week after Congress passed the Selective Service Act, but before the first draft, Lewis, aged twenty-two years, enlisted in the Texas National Guard in Austin. He listed his occupation as “actor”, a career he had begun in high school and continued on stage in local Austin theaters. On July 5, 1917, he was conscripted to Camp Mabry, near Austin. From there he was transferred from to Camp Bowie, outside Ft. Worth, Texas, and assigned to Truck Company #2, 117th Supply Train, 42nd Division. While there he began his “Dearest Mother” correspondence, which he continued faithfully throughout the war.

Read Lewis Lawrence Lacey’s entire Story of Service here.

Submit your family’s Story of Service here.


Honor the Stories of Service of ALL Who Served.

Do Your Bit to Help Build the new National World War I Memorial.

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