Tag Archives: World War One Centennial Commission

Year-end letter from Dan Dayton

A newsletter from the organization formerly known as the World War One Centennial Commission.

Open Letter from Dan Dayton

Dear Michael

Using our new online request tool, I just made arrangements to honor Elmore DeWitt with the playing of taps at the National WWI Memorial.  Elmore served in the 3rd Battery Field Artillery in France from June of 1918 to May 1919…most of the war.  Many years later he was my neighbor and mentor and friend to my kids.  A very good man indeed. I was able to select his birthday to honor his service.

You can see the Taps performances every evening at 5 PM eastern on our YouTube channel, and I’ll be able to share the clip with his family, along with a nice certificate.

Which sets up the theme of this year-end THANK YOU letter!

“What YOU helped us do in 2022!”

Now everyone can request to honor specific veterans with a dedicated sounding of Taps at the National WWI Memorial

Bugler playing taps in honor of: on 12/20/2022

Reserve Your Dedication

The 369th Experience performing

The 369th Experience band came to Washington DC for Juneteenth week

The 369th Experience is a tribute band to the original 369th Harlem Hellfighter Regimental Band that brought Jazz to Europe. It is composed of over 60 students primarily from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and about the same age as those who served in WWI. They were able to come to DC and march with the “President’s Own” United States Marine Band. They performed at the Kennedy Center and at the WWI Memorial to commemorate Juneteenth. It was impressive and impactful. To quote one of the students: “This experience changed my life!”

Watch the 369th Hoboken homecoming from 1919

Verizon and doughboy foundation partnership

Verizon and the Doughboy Foundation partnered to bring our award winning WWI Teaching and Learning resources to middle and high school teachers

Verizon has partnered with the Doughboy Foundation’s EdTech efforts through their Verizon Innovative Learning HQ. That program is targeting 10 million youths by 2030. It is a key partnership in helping us reach out across the country to the 275,000 middle and high school history teachers, as we offer them our unique and award winning WWI Teaching and Learning Resources.

Read the article

Pershing own play summer sunset concerts at the WWI Memorial

“Pershing’s Own” U.S. Army Band  played a “Summer 2022 Rush Hour Concert Series” at the WWI Memorial

Every Thursday this past summer different elements of the United States Army Band, “Pershing’s Own”, performed at the Memorial.  It became a popular end-of-day event in the city. We started to live-stream the concerts too. And, if you missed it, they will be back in the summer of 2023.

Sample the Concerts

Bells of peace video

Bells of Peace 2022 was celebrated in cities, posts, churches and schools across the country

On 11 November at 11AM local, Bells of Peace rang around the country to mark the date and time of the Armistice in 1918. Many of these ceremonies were kick-off events for Veterans Day commemorations. Here in Washington at the WWI Memorial, we sounded a ship’s bell and heard very powerful remarks from General Barry McCaffrey on why leaders MUST avoid war.

Watch the Bells of Peace story

Dispatch masthead

Our popular monthly Dispatch Newsletter continued to grow and expand

Starting with a humble subscriber list of just over 3.500 names in early 2017, the popular monthly Dispatch newsletter, a curation of WWI related articles and information, now goes to over 250,000 recipients every month with a distribution that has expanded approximately  20% in 2022.

Check the latest issue

Rebuilt website

We redesigned the entire website to serve our community better

We invite you to discover and explore last year’s and upcoming programs on our completely redesigned website made to serve you better, faster, across all platforms and browsers.

Explore the new website

Legacy society planned giving

You can now “Remember the Doughboys” in your planned giving

In 2022 we launched a Legacy Society planned giving program and have already received gifts which will be realized at the passing of the donor.

Consider a legacy gift

and a whole lot more…

Please consider a tax deductible year-end donation to help us continue the work.

All that was accomplished in 2022 was made possible through the support from our community of interested people like YOU.

We need your help to continue our mission to “Keep Faith With The American Doughboy” through our programs, projects and activities that educate the public about the importance and impact of America’s participation in World War I.

Help us protect our future by remembering our past.

YES! I will make a year-end tax deductible donation 

Happy New Year and with gratitude for your ongoing support of our work.

Dans Signature

Dan Dayton
The Doughboy Foundation

WWI DISPATCH for December 2022

A newsletter from the organization formerly known as the World War one Centennial Commission.

View this in your browser

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December 2022

Taps in honor of WW1CC staff and volunteers

On Wednesday, December 14, Daily Taps at the National World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C. honored the World War I Centennial Commission and Doughboy Foundation volunteers who keep faith with the Doughboys. Daily Taps is a program supported by donations honoring those who have served or are serving. It especially commemorates the 4.7 million men and women who put on an American uniform in WWI in the name of freedom and Democracy to help end a global conflict that had engulfed and ravaged the entire world. Click on the image to see Daily Taps video, and learn how you can support the program.

Seeing Tina Home: A WWI Christmas Story

E Reynold Thomas

Eighteen-year-old E. Reynold Thomas joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1918. Assigned to the 55th Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, he saw combat at Chateau-Thierry, Belleau Wood, Soissons and Blanc Mont. When the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918, exactly one week after his 19th birthday, Thomas and his unit were assigned to occupation duty in Germany. In the small town of Neuwied, Thomas chanced to meet “the loveliest enemy a soldier ever had” that Christmas. Click here to read Thomas’s entire Christmas story (found after his death and annotated by his daughter), and learn about the post-holiday risky business that ultimately helped provide more “divine evidence of the power of the Christmas spirit.

43 WWI Soldiers Among Unclaimed Remains of 133 Veteran And Relatives Brought to Final Rest in Washington State Veterans Cemetery

Veterans ashes interred

On Wednesday, November 16 the ashes of 106 veterans unclaimed by their families, including 43 who served in World War I, were brought to their final resting place at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery. “People go unclaimed for various reasons,” said Rob Goff, CEO of the Washington State Funeral Directors Association, during the ceremony. “Sometimes it’s just too hard for families to come back, too physically painful for them to return to the funeral home and pick up their loved ones. Sometimes there’s just nobody left.” Click here to read more, and learn about the ongoing efforts to identify and inter the cremated remains of American veterans in honored rest at last.

Senior Curator Doran Cart to Retire from the National World War I Museum and Memorial After 33 Years of Service

Doran Cart

The National WWI Museum and Memorial has announced the retirement of longtime senior curator, Doran Cart. After 33 years of service at the Museum and Memorial, Cart will retire on December 31, 2022. Under Cart’s stewardship since 1990, the museum’s collection has grown to be the most comprehensive collection of WWI objects in the world and the Museum and Memorial has grown into a critically acclaimed international destination. Click here to read the entire story, and learn more about the amazing professional career of Doran Cart.

UALR Researchers Aid in Effort to ID Native Americans Who Served in WWI

Native Americans WWI US Army

Native American soldiers deserving of honors for their World War I service could soon receive those decorations thanks in part to work being done at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Sequoyah National Research Center. “Some of these [individuals] never got the recognition they deserved, and their families and relatives may not even know about their actions,” said Erin Fehr, an archivist and assistant director of Sequoyah National Research Center. “Bringing that valor to light is what it’s all about.” Click here to find out more about the Sequoyah Center’s work supporting the Valor Medals Review Project and Task Force at Park University.

The Story of American Intelligence Starts in World War I

Need to Know cover

What, a book on World War II intelligence on a site dedicated to World War I? Why? It’s a fair question,” says author Nicholas Reynolds. And he has the answer: “The story of American Intelligence starts in World War I, and  almost every one of the major characters in this book cut his (or her) teeth in the first world war. To understand what happened in the second war, you need to reach back to the first war.” Click here to read more, and learn how the new book Need to Know tells the stories of the people who helped the country win WWII and set the stage for the Cold War that followed.

Sylvanus Morley: Archeologist…
and World War I Espionage Agent 53

Sylvanus Morley

So an American archeologist goes to Central America to dig up Mayan ruins, and ends up hunting for secret German U-boat bases in the jungle…wait, are we talking about a new Indiana Jones movie here? Nope, this is the true story of Sylvanus Morley, who was a real world eminent archeologist, and also Agent No. 53 for the Office of Naval Intelligence during World War I. Click here to see more, and learn how Morley and other archeology specialists in Mexico and Central America became U.S. intelligence agents using their professional activities as cover. 

Loaned To The Summer: A Doughboy’s Love Story During World War I

Loaned to Summer cover

As a writer, a veteran, and a descendant of a World War I Doughboy, I remember as a little boy the stories told sitting around my grandmother’s kitchen table, while she baked cornbread in an old iron skillet for supper, of my grandfather, whom I had never met, and how they had met and married before he deployed overseas in the Great War with American Expeditionary Forces.” So says author Craig deSteiguer talking about his book that describes the shattering wartime experiences and postwar redemption of his grandfather, Pvt. Horace Merriman. Click here to read more, and learn how though “wounded in battle and losing his ability to ever speak again,” Merriman learned to “express his life’s feelings through poetry.”

Comparing American and German Remembrance Based on Memorials
for the Fallen

Memorials for the Fallen

A new essay published on the University of Würzburg (Germany) web site is an interesting comparison between certain American and German monuments dedicated to those who served in World War I. The four monuments considered in the study include the Studentenstein (Student-Stone) and the Kriegerdenkmal (Warrior-Memorial) located in Würzburg, Germany, and the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC, and the Liberty Memorial at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, MO. Click here to read the entire essay, and learn what these monuments share, and how they differ, according to the academic researchers.

World War I Body Armor:
Plate Mail In The Trenches

body armor in the trenches

At the outset of the Great War, old-world planning ran head-on into the realities of modern technology. Vast numbers of men were thrown into the grinder, and the losses were staggering. Scrambling for solutions, military planners looked backward for one possible answer: armor. With WWI body armor, military leaders looked for a tactical advantage while the men in the trenches looked for any edge to stay alive.” Writing for The Armory Life web site, Tom Laemlein takes a look at the trench armor developed during this period. Click here to read the entire fascinating article, and learn about the many attempts to solve the “frustrating equation” of combat body armor for foot soldiers.

The Girls in Navy Blue

The Girls In Navy Blue cover

Writing for the Hasty Book List web site, the eponymous Ashley Hasty finds a lot to like about the World War I novel The Girls in Navy Blue by Alix Rickloff. The dual-timeline story set between 1918 (when the world is experiencing their first world war and the US Navy allows women to join its force for the first time in history) and 1968 when the estranged niece of one of the girls in blue receives a postcard dated 1918 revealing unknown details about her aunt during that time. Click here to learn more about this “elegant tale about a mother and daughter trying to find themselves in the midst of two very different world wars.

“Turn the Keys and the Party’s Over.”

then and now

After writing and publishing his new book World War I (56th Engineers) and Great Depression Letters of Ralph W. Green, U.S. Air Force veteran and author John Stibravy became “very interested in the daily lives of our Soldiers prior to, during, and after the War.” In correspondence, he mentioned that “it happens by chance that I’ve carefully crafted an editorial about WWI for publication and have not published it.” Click here to read his intriguing editorial, written from the perspective of someone who has had his finger on a the launch button of nuclear missiles, concerning the “strong similarities between now and pre-WWI,” and how people should be thinking about those similarities.

Story of a South Dakota WWI Private

FRom Wentworth to the Western Front cover 2

A widespread lack of understanding around the global impact of World War I and life at the time in rural South Dakota inspired Mount Marty University (MMU) history professor, Dr. Rich Lofthus, to write a book, “From Wentworth to the Western Front,” which has been featured in a C-SPAN program. “World War One is overlooked…and not a lot of attention has ever been paid to what happened in places like rural South Dakota during the war,” Lofthus says.  Click here to learn more about the new book, and learn how to view the cable television program about it.

New London Harbors a German Submarine During WWI – Who Knew?

Deutschland leaving harbor

. . . that in the early morning hours of November 17, 1916, in the middle of World War I, Connecticut welcomed the German submarine Deutschland into New London. The Deutschland was one of the first seven U-151 class U-boats built in Germany and one of the only vessels developed to serve as an unarmed cargo submarine. Designed to carry goods between Germany and the United States, she easily transported up to 700 tons of cargo. Click here to read more about this largely unknown (and quite remarkable) story of German efforts to defeat the blockade by the Royal Navy in World War I.

The Battle Of Nauset Beach:
Inside the Little-Known 1918 German Naval Bombardment of Cape Cod

tugboat Perth Amboy

The U.S. entered the First World War on April 6, 1917, but the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) did not begin operations in France until July. A year later—although it is now mostly forgotten—the U.S. state of Massachusetts came under attack by Germany. The message received at the Chatham Naval Air Station the morning of July 21, 1918 was crisp: “Submarine sighted. Tug and three barges being fired on, and one is sinking three miles off Coast Guard Station 40.” Station 40 was on Nauset Beach, 70 miles southeast of Boston. Click here to read more, and learn how the German U-boat, their intended target, and the U.S. Navy aircraft that responded to the attack, all survived “the only attack on the United States of America during World War One.”

The Forgotten Incident that Helped Suck the United States into World War I

Black Tom railcar detail

An incident that unfolded in July of 1916 that has largely been forgotten by the American public worked to shift public sentiment against Germany. On July 30th, 1916, one of the largest human-caused explosions in history rocked New York City. The blast was so powerful it damaged the Statue of Liberty. The explosion is known as the Black Tom explosion, and it was a pivotal part of the run-up to the American entry into World War I. Click here to read more, and learn how Black Tom “was one of the most important incidents that finally pulled the United States into World War I

Doughboy Foundation Legacy Society enables planned giving support

Legacy Society

The Doughboy Foundation is pleased to offer planned giving opportunities for individuals who wish to join our Legacy Society and help preserve a vibrant, experiential Memorial for future generations. The Doughboy Foundation’s mission is to “keep faith with the American Doughboy” by ensuring all those who served in World War I are not forgotten. Click here to learn how your gift for the Doughboy Foundation can help fund the Memorial’s visitor programs in perpetuity, inspiring future generations of visitors and forever honoring not only our World War I veterans, but all U.S. servicemen and women.

Doughboy MIA for December

Leonard Charles Aitken

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

Our Doughboy MIA this month is 1st LT Leonard Charles Aitken. Born in Reno, Nevada on 10 June 1897, Leonard Aitken grew up in California, where he joined the California National Guard at 18 years of age. When the trouble broke out with Mexico, he reported for duty in June, 1916 and served along the border with the hospital corps, attending elements of what would, a year later, become the 160th Infantry, 40th Division.

Following America’s declaration of war on Germany, on 7 April 1917, Aitken reported to the Officers Training School at San Diego and upon graduation shipped to France in August, 1918 as a 2nd lieutenant with the 158th Infantry, 40th Division. There, on 20 October 1918, he was sent as a replacement officer to the 372nd Infantry, 93rd Division, then holding a section of the line in the Alsace sector near Hill 607.

On 7 November, while leading a squad of men on a night patrol, they captured several prisoners but unknowingly walked into the line of fire of a German machine gun nest, which opened up on them, killing or capturing all but two enlisted men of the patrol and freeing the prisoners. Without hesitation Lieutenant Aitken immediately advanced against the position with the intent of eliminating it, but he was shot twice in the chest and killed in the endeavor. His date of death is given as 8 November 1918.

Following the Armistice, it was learned that German officers had seen that Aitkens was buried with full military honors in the church yard of the tiny hamlet of La Paive, some 40 miles east of Epinal, France. Nothing further is known at this time.

Would you like to help solve Lt. Aitken’s case? Why not Give to Doughboy MIA and help us make a full accounting of the 4,423 American service personnel still listed as missing in action from WWI. Make your tax deductible donation now, with our thanks.

Merchandise from the Official
Doughboy Foundation WWI Store



Poppy Hat 

  • Classic white relaxed golf cap
  • Low profile six panel unstructured
  • Standard pre-curved visor
Poppy Hat Detail

  • Washed chino twill
  • Fabric strap with antique brass sliding buckle
  • The front features our beautifully embroidered poppy design
  • Doughboy Foundation logo embroidered on side
  • Decorated in USA
  • Cap imported, TAA compliant
  • First Time in the Doughboy Shop!

WWI Poppy Lapel Pin

Poppy Lapel Pin

Back in stock!!

  • Exclusive Commemorative WW1 Poppy Lapel Pin
  • Soft enamel color design
  • Approx. 1.5 inch in dia.
  • Standard military clasp

Books --Lest We Forget & Honoring the Doughboys

Lest We Forget: The Great War World War I Prints from the Pritzker Military Museum & Library. 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 and is a tribute to those who served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and what would become the Air Force. It serves as a lasting reminder that our world ignores the history of World War I (and the ensuing WWII) at its peril―lest we forget.

Honoring the Doughboys: Following My Grandfather’s World War I Diary is a stunning presentation of contemporary photographs taken by the author that are paired with diary entries written by his grandfather, George A. Carlson, who was a soldier in the U.S. Army during World War I. Jeff Lowdermilk followed his grandfather’s path through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany and returned with these meticulously crafted photographs and his own engaging stories that bring the diary to life for contemporary readers. Lowdermilk’s passion for World War I and military history began as a young boy when he listened to his grandfather tell his stories about serving as an infantryman– a “Doughboy”–in Europe during the Great War.

Proceeds from the sale of these items will help complete the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC.

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the Doughboy Foundation.

Virtual Explorer logo new

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.

Genealogy book FREE DOWNLOAD

Donation for Daily Taps

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Doughboy MIA

Pershing Sponsors

Pershing Sponsors

Legacy Society

Vernon Benjamin Zacher

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

Vernon Benjamin Zacher

Submitted by: Michael Marshall Zacher {Nephew}

Vernon Benjamin Zacher was born around 1897. Vernon Zacher 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

Vernon Benjamin Zacher was born July 7, 1897 in Barnesville, Minnesota. He was raised in Jamestown, North Dakota and enlisted in Company H, 164th Infantry, North Dakota National Guard February 12th, 1915.

His guard unit was called into Federal service for World War I, March 26th, 1917. Sgt. Zacher with Company H departed for France December 15th, 1917 aboard the troop ship Leviathan.

Vernon attended Officer Candidate School in Langres, France receiving a commission as 2 LT July 8th, 1918. He was discharged from the National Guard and transferred to the Regular Army, 359th Infantry, 90th Division, where he served until the end of the war.

Vernon participated in the St. Mihiel Offensive and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. He was severely wounded November 1st, 1918 near Bantheville, France. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism as well as the French Legion of Honor (chevalier) and the French Croix de Guerre with palm. The citation reads:

“Without regard for his own safety, Lieutenant Zacher led his platoon to the capture of two machine guns which were holding up the advance of the battalion. Although painfully wounded, he would not stop until his objective had been reached”.

Read Vernon Benjamin Zacher’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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Holiday Special: 40% off at the Doughboy Shop

An item from the organization formerly known as the World War one Centennial Commission.

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Donate >

A Special Message from Doughboy Foundation Chairman & CEO Daniel S. Dayton:


Sink your teeth into this special holiday offer
at the Doughboy Shop!

Private Coupon Code

I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving Day. I want you to know how thankful WE ARE for you as you stepped up to get the new National World War I Memorial built in Washington, D.C.

As a small token of our appreciation, I’m pleased to report that we can offer a limited single U.S. private discount coupon for 40% off some of the items in our
Doughboy Shop.  This exclusive discount code expires December 31, 2022, and excludes clearance items and bundles, and applies to in-stock items only, while supplies last.

The shop is now open at our new website at www.doughboy.org. This private coupon is not for the public, but for you who have made the Memorial possible.

We have added a new Doughboy Flag to our offerings…

Doughboy Flag
Lapel Pin Poppy

…and now is a good time to stock up on Poppy Pins…

…AND the new Doughboy Challenge Coin is available now!

Doughboy Challenge Coin

There is plenty more to chose from in the Doughboy Shop, so please take advantage of the private discount coupon, and get a head start on your Christmas shopping now!

Have a joyous holiday season!


In the Centennial Footsteps of the Great War books

In the Centennial Footsteps of the Great War

This beautifully photographed treatise of WWI is now available through the Doughboy Shop, with $2 from each sale going to benefit The Doughboy Foundation‘s work. Check out author Attila Szalay-Berzeviczy’s amazing two-volume book that chronicles and explains the historical events of the Great War through photos taken by the author one hundred years later.

WWI DISPATCH November 2022

An item from the organization formerly known as the World War One Centennial Commission, which may be of interest to members.

View this in your browser

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November 2022


Daniel Dayton, Chairman and CEO of the Doughboy Foundation (left) and General Barry McCaffrey. USA (Ret) give honors while Taps is played during the Bells of Peace event November 11, 2022 at the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC.

Bells of Peace sound at the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC on November 11, 2022

Bells of Peace rang out at the National World War I Memorial on Washington, DC on Friday, November 11, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. EST in honor of the heroism and sacrifice of the 4.7 million American sons and daughters who served in WWI.  Over 2 million deployed “Over There”. 204,000 Americans returned home wounded and 116,516 did not come home at all. The Doughboy Foundation hosted the 2022 Bells of Peace commemoration at the Memorial in Washington, D.C. The ceremony included a wreath dedication, remarks by special guest General Barry McCaffrey, the Doughboy Foundation’s Bells of Peace tolling, and “Echoing Taps” by Taps For Veterans, where multiple buglers played taps from different corners of the WWI Memorial.  Click here to learn more, and watch a recording of the 2022 Bells of Peace ceremony.

Sculptor for National World War I Memorial is interviewed ahead of Veterans Day

Sabin Howard working on sculpture in Englewood, NJ studio

For three years, in a cavernous studio in Englewood, New Jersey, sculptor Sabin Howard and a handful of assistants have been working on “A Soldier’s Journey,” the monumental sculpture for the National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC. This epic bronze tableau, 58 feet long and 10 feet high, with 38 figures, will be the largest freestanding high relief bronze in the western hemisphere when it is installed in 2024. Jim Beckerman of the NorthJersey.com web site recently visited the studio. Click here to read the entire interview, and learn how Sabin’s archetypal model for the bronze is another Washington landmark familiar to all Americans.

Bronze portion of sculpture

Zita Ballinger Fletcher of the HistoryNet.com web site also interviewed Howard about his methods and inspiration last month, and the artist shared with the publication “some never-seen images” (like the one above) of the earlier sections of the sculpture that are now cast in bronze at the Pangolin Editions sculpture foundry in the UK. Click here to read the entire article, and learn how the creation of the monumental sculpture “has been an incredibly educating experience in humanity” for the sculptor.

The Daily Taps Program: Remember Someone Close To You Who Answered Our Nation’s Call.

Daily Taps Bugler

Every day without fail, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time, Taps sounds at the National World War I Memorial honoring those who perished in the “war that changed the world” and all who have served in the armed forces of the United States. As a joint effort between the Doughboy Foundation, the National Park Service, and the World War I Centennial Commission, this ceremony keeps faith with the American Doughboy and pays tribute to all our service members and veterans. The Daily Taps program now provides a unique opportunity to dedicate a livestreamed sounding of Taps in honor of a special person of your choice while supporting the important work of the Doughboy Foundation. Click here to read more, and learn how you can choose a specific day to honor someone, or even establish this honor for them in perpetuity.

Orange County, NY remembers 40 locals who died in pivotal World War I battle

Orange County NY event

Dr. Jeffrey Sammons, a professor of history at New York University (NYU), was the guest speaker at the event honoring 40 Orange County, NY residents who died in battle more than 100 years ago on the same day during World War I. The 40 Orange County residents served in Companies E and L of the 107th Regiment of the 27th Division and were killed in action during the Battle of the Hindenburg Line in Northern France. Click here to read more, and find out how Orange County “will always remember our fallen heroes.”

Ohio Program Pays Tribute To WWI Deaths In Service

LaRue Ohio event

The Central Ohio Military Museum hosts a free monthly Veterans luncheon. The October 2022 program featured Paul LaRue, member of the Ohio WWI Centennial Committee. LaRue’s program focused on the return of the bodies of WWI Service Members who lost their lives in Europe. Click here to read the entire article, and learn how families after WWI had difficult decisions to make regarding the remains of their relatives who died overseas during the global conflict.

NYC Barber, 75, Pleads Guilty in 1976 Killing of World War I Veteran

WWI vet body exhumed

A 75-year-old New York City man pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 1976 killing of a World War I veteran whose dismembered remains were found in 2019. The guilty plea in the death of WWI vet George Seitz represented the first successful use of genetic genealogy by any of the city’s prosecutors. Click here to read the entire article, and learn how the disappearance of Seitz, a World War I veteran who was then 81 years old, remained a mystery for decades until a tipster led police to a backyard where dismembered body parts were buried under concrete–a very New York, New York story.

Veterans Support Civilian’s Search For Great-Grandfather’s Service Record

John Faulkner

A chance encounter with a photo of a stranger in a World War I U.S. Navy uniform was the door to a rabbit hole for researcher Joe Felice. The journey down that pathway led Felice to the man who turned out to be his great grandfather: John Faulkner, the man in the Navy uniform. But there was no family knowledge of Faulkner ever serving. Click here to read the whole story, and learn how Felice’s journey through the labyrinth of WWI service records, which was aided by a number of military veterans along the way, finally led him to an unexpected discovery.

Harvard University Magazine:
We Remember World War I

Thomas Cabot

To honor the nation’s veterans, Harvard Magazine has republished Adam Goodheart’s remarkable collection of stories about the Great War, “We Remember World War I,” which appeared in the November-December issue of 1993, together with contributing editor Jim Harrison’s engaging photographic portraits. Click here to read the whole article, and learn how in 1993, among Harvard Graduates, “the war is still quite alive in the lives we lead today, for in a certain sense it was the beginning of the modern world.”

UA Little Rock Researcher Uncovers History of WWI American Indian Nurses

Constance Madden

One University of Arkansas at Little Rock researcher has made it her mission to uncover the history of American Indian women who served as Army nurses during World War I. Erin Fehr, assistant director and archivist of the Sequoyah National Research Center, partnered with the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission to create a website commemorating the approximately 12,000 American Indians who served in the military during World War I. During her research, Fehr came across an article that described two of the 14 American Indian women who served in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. “I realized no one has written about any of the others,” Fehr said. “I am bound and determined to find these women. ” Click here to read more, and learn how her ongoing research has revealed that the American Indian nurses “have fascinating stories to share.”

Flying the Liberty Plane brings historic DH4 aircraft to PBS stations nationwide

Flying the Liberty Plane flyer

“It’s been a long time coming,” writes author, moviemaker, and aviator Dorian Walker, “but we have finished our film The Liberty Plane on America’s first Warbird.” The new film, airing on PBS TV stations nationwide starting in the Fall of 2022, was “inspired by both the timeframe, our own DH4, and Peter Jackson’s, They Shall Not Grow Old, We have attempted to take audiences back to World War I.” Click here to read more, learn how “the story of America’s first warbird, the DH-4 Liberty Plane, we found as largely unknown, yet so many innovations evolved from it,” and find out where and when you can see this documentary of WWI aviation history.

When America Became Global Power:
We Have the Right Christmas Present for You!

When America Became Global Power: We Have The Right Christmas Present For You!

The two-volume book In the Centennial Footsteps of the Great War chronicles and explains the historical events of the Great War through photos taken by the author one hundred years later, between 2014 and 2021 in each and every theatre of this global conflict, 57 countries in all. With festive season approaching, are you still looking for the right present for your loved ones? Click here to learn more about an ideal offer for you that the whole family would enjoy on Christmas Eve, with a significant discount!

Exhibit Spotlights Stories Of African American WWI Soldiers From Virginia

WWI African American soldier from Virginia

There’s a new World War I exhibit in Fairfax, and it’s offering visitors an up-close experience with history. The “True Sons of Freedom” traveling exhibition from the Library of Virginia is now on display at the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center. It commemorates Black soldiers from Virginia who served in World War I, fighting for freedoms they were denied at home. Click here to read more, and find out how to view this exhibit running through December 3.

Purple Heart & Service Medals Awarded to World War I Veteran In Sayre, PA

WWI medals awarded Sayre, PA

It may have taken 104 years, but one Army veteran from Sayre, PA has finally received the service medals he deserved. Federal and State officials joined at the VFW Post 1536 in Sayre, PA November 10 to award Private Raymond Jay Varner the Purple Heart and World War One Victory Medal for his service. “It’s great. He had it coming, but he never said much about it,” Robert Varner, son of Raymond, said, adding “Growing up, I always wondered what the dents were in his body, and he told me.” Click here to read more, and learn how Raymond Jay Varner was was the one man out of twelve in his company to survive the battle in which he was shot.

Heroic Legacy Of The Harlem Hellfighters

Harlem Hellfighter legacy

A few years ago, Gina McVey of Elk Grove, CA discovered a piece of world history in her family’s past. It all started with a chance encounter at a car dealer. “There was a gentleman in military uniform and we were both sitting in the waiting room. So, as we’re sitting there I told him, ‘Thank you for your service,’” McVey said. In the conversation that followed, McVey mentioned that her own grandfather had fought in World War I, and left her family “a French medal” he had won. She said the man perked up and asked if the medal could possibly be one called the Croix de Guerre. When she confirmed it was, she said the man replied, “Do you know what you have? You have history.” Click here to read more, and learn how Gina’s grandfather Lawrence Leslie McVey was one of the few African American men to ever receive the medal. 

WWI Veteran’s Gravestone Corrected

Winton Paul Burtner

Chaz Haywood first saw a photograph of Winton Paul Burtner (left) in a framed portrait at his wife’s family home. Haywood asked his wife, “Who’s that fella?” Ginny Haywood responded that the man was her great-uncle, who was killed in June 1918 at the Battle of Belleau Wood in France during World War I. It wasn’t until Haywood started digging around online and pulled up a photograph of Burtner’s gravestone, located at Arlington National Cemetery, that he noticed something strange — the marker was labeled Maryland instead of Virginia. And the name was spelled wrong. Click here to read more, and learn how diligent work on the part of family and friends ensured that “Someone who dies for their country should have everything correct on their marker as accurate as possible.”

Photographic Treasure: Exhibit Features WWI Photos from Newly-found Negatives

WWI Photo Negatives found

Molly Millie Anderson noticed the plain black box at an Omaha auction. Anderson, a history buff, opened the box and found numerous negatives inside. She held one up to a light and spotted a date: 1917. “This is pretty cool, but there’s no way these are any good,” she thought.  Anderson still bid for the box and won it. She bought a light board and began looking at the negatives. Click here to read the entire article, and learn more about what Anderson found: a photographic record captured by Rudolph “Doc” Henry Cook, who served in World War I, in pristine shape. 

Family of South Carolina WWI Soldier Gets His Purple Heart – A Century Later

Family gets Purple Heart

Sgt. Henry Dokes was a member of the 371st Infantry Regiment, made up of Southern Black men mostly from South Carolina drafted into the U.S. Army. Dokes was shot in the face in the same battle where Cpl. Freddie Stowers was killed. Stowers would be recognized with the Medal of Honor decades later, in 1991. But despite his visible wounds and a disability designation from the VA, Dokes never received a Purple Heart. But on November 5, that changed. Click here to read more, and learn how Dokes’ grandson and great grandson were given the military medal Henry Dokes earned more than a century ago. 

“Today’s War Writers Owed a Debt Not Only to the Service of WWI Soldiers but also to the Unprecedented Way They Wrote About War.”

Beyond Their Limits of Longing: Contemporary Writers and Veterans on the Lingering Stories of WWI

Writes author Jennifer Orth-Veillon: “My just-released book, Beyond Their Limits of Longing: Contemporary Writers and Veterans on the Lingering Stories of WWI, is informed and inspired by “The WWrite Blog. Exploring WWI’s Influence on Contemporary Writing and Scholarship,” a blog I had the honor of curating for the Official United States World War One Centennial Commission’s website from 2016-2019. The blog featured posts almost every week by emerging and established writers from all genres who volunteered to reflect upon the place of WWI memory in the United States and in the world. While my work with the blog and the commission finished in 2019, my passion for modernizing the WWI narrative motivated me to create a book because, though a blog is wonderful in some many respects, I wanted to both consolidate and polish a selection of the timeless posts in an easily accessible collection.” Click here to read Orth-Veillon’s entire thoughtful essay, and learn more about her new book, including where to buy it.

NCSC Reveals Newest Exhibit:
World War I Espionage In The USA

German spy

A new digital exhibit unveiled by the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) highlights a lesser-known aspect of World War I (WWI) – the sabotage and espionage campaign carried out in the United States by Imperial Germany. The “Evolution of Espionage in America” exhibit spotlights this secret war on the American home front, which began long before the United States entered WWI. Click here to read more about the exhibit, and learn how “While many of these stories have long been forgotten, they hold valuable lessons as we confront today’s challenges.

Tradition Lives On At Hindenburg Line Dinner

Pvt. Michael Valente

“…gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy during the operations against the Hindenburg line, east of Ronssoy, France, 29 September 1918,” begins the Medal of Honor citation for Pvt. Michael Valente, but he would describe it more plainly. “I was pissed that my men were getting killed,” he would reply when his grandson, Ralph Madalena, asked him about that fateful day on the Western Front. Rushing on a German machine gun nest, Valente and a comrade killed or captured the entire crew, before turning their attention toward another position, and doing it again. Valente would be wounded shortly thereafter, but lived on until 1976. The notion of legacy was a conspicuous theme on the night of October 22, as the Veterans of the Seventh Regiment hosted a commemorative “Hindenburg Line” dinner at the Park Avenue Armory. Click here to read more about Pvt. Valente, the Veterans of the Seventh Regiment , and why the “Hindenburg Line” dinner takes place.

Meaux’s Museum of the Great War,
World War I Reenactors, and Brie

Meaux reenactors

Despite its significance in 20th-century history and its role in transforming the United States into a world power, the First World War sights, cemeteries and museums of France typically hold little interest for American travelers. Yet several are at Paris’s doorsteps. The Suresnes American Cemetery and the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial are both in the suburbs while the Musée de la Grande Guerre (Museum of the Great War) in Meaux is just 25 miles east along a meander in the Marne River. Click here to read more about the Meaux museum, and the tremendous collection of objects from the First World War that has been amassed over more than 40 years. And about brie…

The Armchair Historian: World War I From The American Perspective

The Armchair Historian

The Armchair Historian LLC specializes in producing educational and entertaining animated history videos, primarily 20th-century military history. Writes founder Griffin Johnsen: “I started this channel in June of 2016, but our first video came out in November of 2017. I was 18 at the time and did all of the research, animations, editing, and some of the art myself. As our channel grew I brought on more and more experts to improve our animation, scriptwriting, and illustrations. Now we are a team of around 70, and create videos on YouTube, run our streaming service “Armchair History TV,” and design historical strategy games with our new studio “Armchair History Interactive.” Now The Armchair Historian has a new animated video: WW1 From The American Perspective. Click here to learn more about The Armchair Historian, WW1 From The American Perspective, and where you can find the video.

New Book Highlights The Incredible Legacy Of Syracuse University WWI Veteran William Shemin ’1924

The Ivy League Hero

A new book, “The Ivy Hero: The Brave Life of Sergeant William Shemin” (City Point Press, 2022), authored by Sara Shemin Cass and her cousin, Dan Burstein, shares William’s story—from his earliest years on the Lower East Side to his military service and time at Syracuse University, to the 15-year fight of his daughter Elsie Shemin-Roth ’51 for William to be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. He is the only known graduate of Syracuse University to have received the distinction. Click here to read more about Sergeant William Shemin, his extraordinary bravery during a long-fought battle in 1918 near Bazoches, France, and the ultimately successful campaign by his family for the the Medal of Honor that he was denied due to his Jewish faith.

Doughboy MIA for November 2022

DOughboy MIA Generic image

A man is only missing if he is forgotten.

This month we are featuring something different for our MIA of the Month: an ‘Unknown’ buried in France.

 The remains we are focused on here were originally discovered in early-1938 by members of the British Imperial War Graves Commission. How they had come into the information is unknown. The remains were recovered by US personnel in April 1938 from an isolated grave in an open field on Cravancon Farm outside the commune of Chaudun in the Aisne Department.

Chaudun in the Aisne Department

The man was most likely a 2nd Division soldier killed in the July 1918 offensive fought there. Interestingly however, the area where he was discovered is actually well within the area of operations of the French 1st Moroccan Division, who were on the left of the 2nd during the fighting.

The remains were taken to the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery where they were to await identification. However, when the effects found with the remains were mailed to the Administrative Officer at the Corps of Engineers – the closest thing to Graves Registration still in France at the time – they were lost in transit and never found. This meant that material evidence that might have been used for identification was gone, leaving only medical evidence. The extent that that medical evidence was compared to MIA files for soldiers lost in that area during that time period is unknown, as all the paperwork dealing with those remains recovered and buried as Unknown has been lost and thus far we at Doughboy MIA have been unable to locate it.

So it was that in May 1938 it was determined the remains could not be identified and an ‘Unknown’ number was assigned them; in this case the man became U-4228 and a file for him was begun. He was transferred in June 1938 to the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery where he was permanently interred in Block H, Row 44, Grave 33.

The point here is to illustrate a bit of what we are up against when we tackle a case. While we may never be able to identify who U-4228 is, we at least owe it to him to try and do so, as well as to the others who remain lost to that war.

How about giving us a hand? Make your tax-deductible donation to our non-profit organization today. Doing so helps ensure these men are never forgotten. Simply go to www.doughboymia.org and give what you can, with our thanks. Every dime goes to our mission.

Can you spare just ten dollars? Give ‘Ten For Them’ 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.

Merchandise from the Official
Doughboy Foundation WWI Store

WWI Poppy Lapel Pin

Poppy Lapel Pin

Back in stock!!

  • Exclusive Commemorative WW1 Poppy Lapel Pin
  • Soft enamel color design
  • Approx. 1.5 inch in dia.
  • Standard military clasp

Proceeds from the sale of these pins will help complete the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC.

This and many other items are available as Official Merchandise of the Doughboy Foundation.

Augmented Reality in the Apps

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

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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.

Genealogy book FREE DOWNLOAD

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Legacy Society

Raymond Buma

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

Raymond Buma

Submitted by: Shelley J. Buma {Great Niece}

Raymond Buma born around 1896. Raymond Buma served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service

Raymond Buma was born November 15, 1896 in Ijst, Friesland, the Netherlands. At the age of 10 he came to Whitinsville, MA with his parents, Minne and Theresa, and 9 siblings.

Buma was 20 years old and 5 months when he first registered with this US Army on April 4, 1917.

After months of training, Buma sailed at 6:30pm from Hoboken, NJ on May 10, 1918 and headed to France on board the SS Duca D’Aosta. Prior to departure, he was granted permission to visit New York City, which would turn out to be his first and only visit to the great city.

He was a corporal in the 4th Infantry Division, 7th Brigade, Machine Gun Battalion 39th Infantry Regiment. He was killed in action during the Meuse-Argonne offensive. He received the Distinguished Service for “extraordinary heroism” near Cuisy, France on September 26, 1918.

Read Raymond Buma’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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Share your Bells of Peace story

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Bells of peace countdown 3-days to go

Friday is coming up quickly. According to the counter on my Bells of Peace Participation App – As I write this, we are only 3 days and 1 hour from tolling the bells here.

Help us share the story of YOUR Bells of Peace participation by posting your event, veteran’s picture, bells, group, congregation, post, chapter and/or video of your tolling on social media using #BellsOfPeace.

This will bring your story to our aggregator so we can include images or videos of your Bells of Peace commemoration on our Participation Wall and under the Camera Icon in the app. We monitor Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube.

See the Participation Wall

We have wonderful organizations and individuals on record since 2018 (keep clicking the Load More button at the bottom of the page).

Please include your commemoration in 2022 when you tolled the bells for those who served and serve for our democracy and freedom and tag it with #BellsOfPeace.

Thank you.