Grave of World War I Navy veteran nurse located in York, Maine

via the Seacoastonline web site

Ivy Harriet Keen graveThe grave of World War I Navy nurse Ivy Harriett Keen was recently located and marked in York, Maine.A simple small flat stone marker that said “Daughter” in a family plot named “Keen” at the First Parish Cemetery was located Wednesday, Nov. 10, and marked for the first time for Veterans Day 2021.

The Old York Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution convened its meeting on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. to both honor all veterans and discuss the research that led to the discovery through record searches and "Find a Grave" resources.

Ivy Harriet Keen, born in 1886, was educated in the York schools and then had nurse’s training at Portland Maine General Hospital’s School for Nursing. When the U.S. entered the Great War in 1917, Keen was part of the U.S. Naval Reserve Force Nurse Corps joining the war-time cause and deployed immediately to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Newport, Rhode Island.

Later, she remained in the Navy as a nurse and saw duty in Brooklyn, New York, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, retiring from the Navy in 1938.

“Her 20 years of service in the military as an ensign is impressive. She served her country well,” said Old York Chapter Regent Carla Rigby. “We now know that she was laid to rest in York and that is exciting. She came home and she is with her family, which includes her grandfather, Hamden Keen, who served in the Civil War and later was the Postmaster in York’s Brixham area.”

Pieces of the story came together when research was being done on her service and her date and place of death were not in military records. Driving to the cemetery to search for the location of her burial required the knowledge of Ken Schoff who knew were the Keen plot was located. The small flat stone was cleared of debris and then marked with a flag by Richard Zerbinopoulos while a member of the Old York Chapter of DAR recorded the event

 

Samuel Iredell Parker monumentVietnam Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Col. Joe Marm, left, salutes during the unveiling of the monument to World War I hero and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Lt. Col. Samuel I. Parker. The ceremony was held on Veterans Day at the Oakwood Cemetery in Concord, GA to honor the local hero.  

Most highly decorated WWI American soldier receives monument

By Victoria Young
via the Independent Tribune newspaper (NC) web site 

The most highly decorated American World War I soldier was buried in Oakwood Cemetery in 1975 with a small marker that barely noted his time in service.

Samuel Iredell ParkerSamuel Iredell ParkerThis Veterans Day, American Legion Post 51 unveiled a monument to mark Lt. Col. Samuel I. "SI" Parker's grave and note his awards and how he got them.

The Legion annually puts American flags on all veterans' graves in Oakwood Cemetery for Veterans Day. Last year, someone in the group noticed Parker's plot and decided to do some research.

Admittedly, his grave had been overlooked in the past simply because it was so plain, said Legion Rider Chairman Jack Ward. But the Legion uncovered that the Concord cemetery was the final resting place of a highly decorated hero.

Ward said that once the Legion Riders heard about Parker, they immediately wanted to help. They spent months collecting funds for the monument and also worked with the city of Concord to find out what steps they needed to take to make it a reality. The city also contributed to the funds.

"We said we have a Medal of Honor recipient," Ward said of the riders' enthusiasm. "We have got to make something happen."

Parker was born in Monroe in 1891 and went to college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While he did receive his degree, it was briefly disrupted when he was called to service in 1917 when the United States entered the war.

He was later presented the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1936 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt for his service. But that was just one in a long list of his commendations. Parker also received the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, along with his Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, among others. 

The Legion also worked with Parker's family to not only get permission to place the monument but to learn more about him.

Ed and Sam Moss, Parker's grandchildren, were present at the unveiling Thursday.

Ed said he was grateful to the Legion for its work on the monument.

"It is all about the American Legion and the Riders," Ed said. "They were the ones who wanted to do this. It is wonderful to see veterans pulling together and wanting to honor others."

 

11 13 21 stelvio passStelvio Pass area and in the background the glaciers of the Ortles-Cevedale group, Italy.

Historians found a WWI bunker ‘frozen in time’ in the Alps

By Adela Suliman
via the Stars and Stripes newspaper web site 

Tucked within an icy mountain lies a meticulously preserved World War I bunker.

Climate change means we can now see it.

The intact cavern/barracks contains munitions, books, cigarette holders and animal bones and was once teeming with Austro-Hungarian troops. They staked out on Mount Scorluzzo, almost 3,000 meters above sea level, on the Italian-Swiss border, now part of Italy’s Stelvio National Park territory.

“These places were literally frozen in time,” Giovanni Cadioli, historian and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Padua told The Washington Post.

Now, he added, climate change was playing a “pivotal role” in their discovery, as warming temperatures have led to the melting of glaciers and permafrost revealing a “time capsule.”

Amid the backdrop of the global climate change summit COP26 taking place in Europe, Cadioli underscored that the impressive findings were bittersweet: “We’d really rather not have retreating glaciers.”

The artificial caves were made back in 1915 by blowing up parts of the mountain and transforming them into makeshift barracks and shelters to house hundreds of European troops.

The barracks, along with the machine gun emplacements, sheltered walkways and tunnels, were held by Austro-Hungarians who were fighting Italian troops. They vacated their position on Nov. 3 1918, in line with retreat orders, just days ahead of the Armistice agreement on Nov. 11, which ended the First World War.

  

13 Leadership Lessons World War I

By James Strock
via the Serve to Lead Group web site 

Woodrow Wilson Harris Ewing bw photo portrait 1919 500pxWoodrow Wilson’s failing health and brittle, increasingly volatile temperament were significant factors in his troubled relationships with other WWI stakeholders.The Great War of 1914-18—it became the First World War only in tragic retrospect—was the seminal event of the 20th century. Its after-effects reverberate in our day.

One might argue that the 20th century actually began with the war in 1914, culminating with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. If so, then one might characterize World War I as the 75-Year War.

The Great War and its immediate aftermath (including the flu pandemic) consumed 37 million casualties.

As shocking as the absolute number is, consider what it would mean in today’s terms. In 1920 the population of the earth was approaching two billion; by contrast, today that number has passed seven billion. By a conservative accounting, that would translate into more than a hundred million casualties in our time.

At the outset of a new century, it may be useful to reflect upon leadership lessons that the Great War provides.

Just as the war affected aspects of life far beyond the battlefield, its leadership lessons have resonance far beyond wartime.

13 Leadership Lessons World War I

  1. Leadership Matters. Leadership—of individuals and elites in power—was of great significance. The war did not “just happen.” Barbara Tuchman’s enduring literary history, The Guns of August, made the case for the war being the result of failed diplomatic arrangements. Once the fuse was lit, the conflagration was inevitable. More recent scholarship, such as The Sleepwalkers, returns attention to widespread, identifiable leadership failures of various political and military figures.

 

Cecil Count MD DoughboyIn 1941, the Cecil County WWI monument had to be relocated when a new courthouse was built, resulting in the old one being torn down. Since that time, the monument has been located on the front lawn of the Maryland National Guard Armory on Railroad Avenue.  

Cecil County’s World War I Memorial: Our Doughboy

By Veronica Naujokas
via the Cecil Daily newspaper (MD) web site

ELKTON — Following the end of World War I, many towns and cities across the United States (as well as other nations), established a variety of memorials in remembrance of the war and those who had served and fallen defending their countries. Maryland and Cecil County were no different.

According to Cecil County historical archives, a meeting was held on Jan. 20, 1919 (just two months after the end of the war) to plan the creation of a monument to honor the men and women of Cecil County that had served and died in the war. A man and woman were chosen from each of the county’s nine districts to form an executive planning committee for the endeavor. Archives describe how ideas for a memorial were shared which included, a public library, a maternity annex to the hospital, a memorial tablet in the courthouse and the armory, a school fund for the soldiers, and of course a traditional monument of some kind. By March of that year the committee had still not come to a decision and it was decided that they should wait until all of the soldiers had returned home before they continued.

It was not until November 1920, nearly two years after the end of the war, that the committee had come to a consensus and made final decisions about a memorial. The memorial would be a monument and it was to be built in the southwest corner of the Elkton Courthouse.

Robert Thackery and his wife Elizabeth helped to organize a fundraiser and the goal for donations was set for $7,500, but by January 1921, just two months after their announcement, they had already raised $5,218 so the committee decided to raise their goal to $10,000. By March, donations had nearly reached their goal and were at $9,400. Cecil County residents had come together once again to contribute just as they had done so a few years earlier. They were still “doing their bit.”

The Elkton Marble and Granite Company was contracted and tasked with erecting the monument and the Rutland Marble Company from Rutland Vermont was contracted to produce the actual monument. Ground was broken in front of the courthouse on June 6, 1921 and by that October it had been completed. The following month on Armistice Day (now known as Veterans Day), Nov. 11, 1921, the monument was officially dedicated. Cecil County residents gathered for a parade and the unveiling of the monument, which was done by the mothers of the fallen soldiers.

The monument depicts a WWI soldier, in uniform, standing with his left knee bent and holding a rifle in front of him with the barrel of the gun upright and the base of the gun touching the ground. He stands tall on top of the central pedestal, with two flanking walls off to either side of him.

 

A century later, a song for the lost

By Cody Wendt
Special to the Doughboy Foundation web site 

The night before the Lester Hayton Centennial Memorial was to be held in Palouse, Washington on July 15th, 2019, I stayed past work hours at the office of the Lewiston Tribune — the regional newspaper of my employ — to finish the lyrics to a ballad I had been composing for that event.

Once it was done, I made a dead-of-night pilgrimage to Vineland Cemetery in nearby Clarkston, Washington, where I spent time reflecting before the plot at which Hayton’s family is buried and a tombstone in his name stands, though his remains were never recovered. It was then, as it is now, my fond hope to do justice in discussing their memory and the weighty matters that come with it.

Lester Haydon grave markerLester Hayton memorial marker in the Hayton family plot; his remains were never recovered after he perished in the Battle of Chateau-Thierry in WWI.Several months earlier, Palouse resident Brad Pearce had formed an interest in the name of his town’s “Hayton-Greene Park,” which he had never heard explained through three decades living in the idyllic community of around a thousand residents. Upon researching the matter, Pearce learned that the “Hayton” half of the park’s monicker derived from the city’s lone World War I combat casualty — Lester D. Hayton, who went missing-in-action during the 1918 battle of Chateau-Thierry, France — and that the 100th anniversary of news of Hayton’s demise reaching Palouse so happened to be approaching. So it was that he conceived of what he termed the “Lester Hayton Centennial Memorial,” a presentation to be made in the same city park that July in conjunction with a felicitously timed ice cream social.

Pearce recruited the local Lions Club and Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter to help stage and conduct the ceremony. He also reached out to ask the author of this article — a writer and musician active around the region with a bent for old-time Americana — to sing there.

I was to perform three suitable pieces over the course of the half-hour-long event. Sifting the corpus of traditional material, I chose the wrenching World War I lament “The Green Fields of France,” and added to it the old-time spiritual “The Wayfaring Stranger,” with which Hayton, as a churchgoing rural American, might well have been familiar. Finally, it was my idea to compose an original song telling Hayton’s story and situating it in the context of history — a song in the style and spirit of the ballads that were prevalent in his own lifetime.

Born in 1892, Hayton was 25 years old when he shipped off for the war effort in September of 1917, and would soon find himself serving in France under the legendary general John “Blackjack” Pershing. There is no knowing his feelings or motivations through all of this. Was he excited to see the world? Was he frightened and reluctant as he complied with the draft?

 

Marine on the Olympia croppedOn October 25, 2021, a U.S. Marine salutes the commemorative plaque on the bridge of the USS Olympia that notes the location where the box containing the body of the Unknown Soldier was lashed to the deck. Nov. 11, 2021, marks the 100-year anniversary of the first interment ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and for Philadelphia’s Roman Catholic High School this centennial commemoration holds special significance. 

A prayer for the Unknown Soldier

By Chris Gibbons
via the Broad + Liberty web site 

It was early November 1921, and the storm-tossed waves of the Atlantic Ocean wrought by the great Tampa Bay Hurricane continually pounded the deck of the USS Olympia as she valiantly fought to stay afloat. Waves approaching 15 feet repeatedly slammed into the ship causing it to roll a precarious 39 degrees. Crew members witnessed the deck plates shifting up and down and feared they might come apart. As chronicled in Marine Lieutenant Colonel Dennis Nicholson’s In Good Hands, Private Frederick Landry said that “all hands and the ships’ cook speculated on how close she would come to capsizing on the next roll.”

Lashed down to the deck of the USS Olympia was a canvas-covered box containing precious cargo. Its importance was so great that a Marine guard was ordered to be stationed by its side around-the-clock. Two additional sentries were also ordered to stand close by and assist should the storm loosen the cargo from its signal bridge mooring. Nicholson wrote that the seas were so heavy that these Marines were “lashed to a stanchion to prevent their being swept from their stations by waves swishing over the decks.”

Tasked with forming and commanding the 40-man Marine Guard to accompany the cargo aboard USS Olympia was Capt. Graves B. Erskine, a battle-scarred World War I veteran who fought at the battles of Belleau Wood, Soissons, and St. Mihiel. Erskine said that when he thought of the cargo washing overboard, “I might as well jump over with” it. His sentiment was certainly understandable, for the box contained the casket that held the remains of America’s Unknown Soldier of the Great War.

Several months prior, the United States Congress approved the burial of an unidentified American serviceman from World War I in the plaza of the new Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery. The bodies of four unknown American soldiers were then exhumed from their battlefield graves in France. U.S. Army Sgt. Edward F. Younger, a Great War veteran and recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal for bravery, randomly selected the Unknown Soldier from among these four unmarked caskets. Amidst great fanfare and newspaper coverage in America and Europe, the famed USS Olympia, flagship of Commodore George Dewey at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish–American War in 1898, was selected to transport the body from the French Port of LeHavre. An entire nation anxiously awaited its arrival as a solemn ceremony with President Warren G. Harding officiating was planned for November 11th, the three-year anniversary of the end of the Great War. Numerous foreign dignitaries were to present their highest service awards during the ceremony. 

 

Stateside knitting brigades made big impact on World War I troops

By Tammy Wells
via the Portland Press Herald newspaper (OR) web site 

Americans pause today to honor military veterans on this 103rd anniversary of the Nov. 11, 1918, Armistice that ended World War I, and to remember American veterans of all wars.

41ecqy8p5oL. SX331 BO1204203200 America entered World War I, into the fighting that had been raging in Europe since 1914, in April 1917. By the time the battlefields fell silent, more than 53,000 U.S. troops had been killed in action, and more than 63,000 died of non-combat related reasons, mainly due to the influenza pandemic of 1918, according to the online Library of Congress website. More than 204,000 were wounded.

While the troops were off fighting, those on the home front, from the very young to the elderly, pitched in to help support the soldiers and the war effort.

One of those efforts was knitting socks, bandages, and other garments for those fighting overseas, said Holly Korda.

The troops, said Korda, who learned about World War I knitting brigades in a conversation with her grandmother some years ago, were ill clothed for fighting. The boots they were issued were poor quality and their kit contained just two pairs of socks. Keeping feet warm and dry was essential to troop health and so the American Red Cross, one of the few agencies with a national reach at the time, organized people to knit for the troops.

Korda, who went on to write ‘The Knitting Brigades of World War I, Volunteers for Victory in America and Abroad,” said she remembered her grandmother knitting, but had not known about the brigades until she mentioned she had taken part as an 11-year-old schoolgirl, when the Red Cross taught people young and old to knit.

“She was so proud,” said Korda.

The knitting brigades sparked Korda’s interest, and she began researching the phenomenon, which according to her book, saw Americans transform more than 15 million pounds of wool into essential garments.

More than 24 million articles of clothing and 300 million surgical dressings were produced by home knitters, she learned.

A full 10 percent of the garments knit for the war effort were made by children.

The rallying cry on the home front was “wool will win the war.”

Knitting patterns were published in local newspapers.

According to her book, President Woodrow Wilson’s White House lawn hosted its own flock of sheep and auctioned their wool for the war effort, and there was a week-long knitting bee in New York’s Central Park. 

 

ww1 women heroes history blog webElsie Inglis, Edith Cavell, and Julia Catherine Stimson were three of the many heroic women who served in World War I. 

9 Heroic Women of World War I You Should Know

By Katherine
via the A Mighty Girl web site

On the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" in 1918, World War I finally came to an end after four devastating years. The day of the armistice became a national holiday in many countries, a solemn day to remember the nine million soldiers and the seven million civilians who died during the Great War which was deemed, at the time, the "war to end all wars." When stories are told of wartime heroism, most focus on the brave men who fought in the trenches along the front lines, but heroes played many roles during those long years of war.

Since women were not usually allowed in military service at the time, their important contributions to the war effort have too often been neglected in history books. To remedy this, in this blog post, we're introducing nine remarkable women who deserve broader recognition for their efforts ranging from smuggling wounded soldiers to safety, spying for the Allies, establishing hospitals, and negotiating for peace. May their heroic work be remembered, and serve as a reminder of the horrors of war and the necessity of ensuring that a world-wide conflict never occurs again.

Women Of World War I That You Should Know

jane addams

Jane Addams (1860 - 1935)

This women's rights activist and pioneering social reformer, the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, was once considered "the most dangerous woman in the United States" because of her dedication to peace and diplomacy. Jane Addams, who is also known as the founder of social work, co-founded Chicago's Hull House, the most famous settlement house in America, in 1889.

After the outbreak of WWI, she was elected the national chair of the Woman's Peace Party president and presided over a meeting of 1,200 peace activists from 12 nations at The Hague in 1915. Addams, pictured at right, helped organize the first significant international effort to mediate between the warring nations, and she visited leaders of multiple European nations, urging them to sign a non-aggression pact and put an end to the war.

Her dedication to peace earned her severe criticism in the midst of the Great War's nationalism, and even charges that she was unpatriotic once the US joined the war. After the war was over, however, people began to support her again — particularly for her efforts with the newly formed Women's International League for Peace and Freedom to ban the poison gases whose horrors had been revealed during WWI — and by the time she received the Nobel Prize in 1931, she was once again hailed as an example to the world.

Her life stands as a testament to her own image of peace: "True peace is not merely the absence of war, it is the presence of justice."

 

The casket of the Unknown Sailor aboard the USS Olympia in 1922.  Although there were unknown soldiers who died on battlefields throughout U.S. history, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier had its genesis in World War IThe casket of the World War I Unknown Sailor being carried off the USS Olympia in 1922. Although there were unknown soldiers who died on battlefields throughout U.S. history, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier had its genesis in World War I. 

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Had Its Origins in World War I

By David Vergun
via the Defense.gov web site

In 1916, after a British army chaplain noticed a grave marked "An Unknown British Soldier," he got the idea for what would become the United Kingdom's Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. That memorial was dedicated Nov. 11, 1920, two years after the armistice that ended World War I.

The idea took hold and spread among other wartime allies, including France, Italy and the U.S. On Nov. 11, 1921, the U.S. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was dedicated in Arlington National Cemetery.

Military historian Patrick K. O'Donnell researched the backstory of that dedication, including the stories of the soldiers who brought the unknown soldier's remains to Arlington. He published his findings in the book "The Unknowns: The Untold Story of America's Unknown Soldier and WWI's Most Decorated Heroes Who Brought Him Home."

On Sept. 29, 1921, the War Department ordered the selection of an unknown soldier from those buried in France. The selection process was carried out by the U.S. Quartermaster Corps, in cooperation with the French and U.S. Navy, O'Donnell said.

Three weeks later, a Quartermaster Corps team exhumed four bodies of unidentified Americans from each of four American cemeteries in France: Aisne-Maine, Meuse-Argonne, Somme and St. Mihiel.

"Each was examined to ensure that the person had been a member of the American Expeditionary Forces, that he had died of wounds in combat, and that there were no clues to his identity whatsoever," O'Donnell said.

After mortuary preparation, the bodies were placed in identical caskets and shipping cases. The reason for this elaborate proceeding, O'Donnell explained, was to ensure that the one unknown soldier chosen would be truly a random selection, as this unknown soldier would represent the many other unknown soldiers. This followed the practice used by the other allies in their own process of selecting their own unknown soldiers.

 

Dunning veterans day ceremony 2Rhode Island Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos presents a certificate to Miriam Clancy and Michael Clancy, grandchildren of Rose Sherburne Clancy, the first Rhode Island woman to enlist in World War I, during a Veterans Day ceremony at Portsmouth Town Hall on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. 

Portsmouth Legion honors RI's first female to enlist in WWI at Veteran's Day ceremony

By Savana Dunning
via the Newport Daily News newspaper (RI) web site

The Clancy family’s legacy in military service began with Rose Sherburne Clancy, the first Rhode Island woman to enlist in the Navy during World War I. Clancy trained and served at Newport Naval Base, became the state’s first female Navy Yeoman’s Mate Second Class, and later, the first female commander for a RI American Legion (Providence 44).

Though it has been 75 years since Rose Sherburne Clancy passed away, her grandchildren, Michael Clancy and Army Reserve Maj. Miriam Clancy, and have kept her memory alive, both through their own service in the United States Military and by working with local veteran organizations like the Portsmouth chapter of the American Legion, to honor her legacy.

When cousins Michael and Miriam reached out to the Portsmouth chapter of the American Legion to discuss honoring Rose’s legacy, Commander Francis Gutierrez decided to dedicate the annual Veteran’s Day ceremony to Rose and all servicewomen throughout the state.

“I feel it's important that we do this every year,” Gutierrez said. “It validates our veterans and validates the sacrifices they’ve made and they continue to make every day.”

Michael Clancy gave a short speech detailing his grandmother’s legacy and the impact it had in producing a family of veterans who followed in her footsteps. A veteran himself, Michael Clancy took some of the time to honor his cousin Miriam for her service and work in maintaining Rose’s legacy.

“(Miriam) is the one who inspires me the most,” Michael Clancy said at the Portsmouth Legion Veteran’s Day ceremony on Thursday. “When 9/11 happened, Miriam stepped up. Miriam went back into the army, where she’s currently still serving today. She makes me so proud because that is what our grandmother did. She stepped up.”

Alongside Michael, Miriam, and several other members of the Clancy family, Gutierrez invited Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos and U.S. Naval War College President Shoshana Chatfield. Matos presented a Governor’s Citation, a certificate of recognition, to the Clancy’s on behalf of Gov. Dan McKee and herself.

Matos related the issues women faced in enlisting in the military to the hesitation and hardship she experienced in running for office.

“It’s truly an honor to acknowledge the contribution of a female who honestly shattered our glass ceiling early on when no one thought it could happen,” Matos said. “You have to admire what she did at that time, that was so hard. We feel it is so hard for us as females in politics or trying to do the work of public service, but I can only imagine how tough it was back then for it.”

 

Johnstown PA honor rollTwo WW1 honor rolls that hung in Park Avenue United Methodist Church in Johnstown. 

WWI honor roll from shuttered Moxham church donated to museum

By Dave Sutor
via the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat newspaper (PA) web site

Their names hung inside Park Avenue United Methodist Church for decades – Ivan Barefoot, Raymond K. Lint, Walter Shank and 39 other men who served in the Army or Navy during the World War I era.

Richard Odgers was the first person whose name was entered on the honor roll, having enlisted in September 1914 – after the conflict started, but before the United States actually entered the Great War. Herbert Meyers was the last, joining Oct. 18, 1918, less than a month before the fighting ended on Nov. 11, which is now known as Veterans Day.

Both pages of the church’s honor roll are stained in spots, but otherwise well-preserved, enshrined behind wooden and glass frames, with the names of young men, frozen in time, ageless, but now long-dead. The names are written in a style that evokes images of inkwells and metal-tipped pens.

Before the church in Johnstown’s Moxham neighborhood closed last year, Jacquelyn Reighard, whose aunt was a member of the parish, acquired the documents with the intent of finding a permanent home for them.

The honor roll has been donated to the Cambria County Veterans Memorial Museum at 1st Summit Arena @ The Cambria County War Memorial in downtown Johnstown.

“It was very impressive to see them,” said Reighard, a member of the St. Michael American Legion Post Auxiliary. “They obviously don’t do things like that anymore. I recognize some of the last names, and that meant something. I never went to that church. I grew up outside of Johnstown. I didn’t grow up in Johnstown, but being able to at least recognize last names and being from our area was impactful.”

For Reighard, the pages captured the spirt of the American Legion.

“The American Legion is for ‘God and country,’ and the thought that inside this church they were recognizing the men that were serving within their congregation – to me, it speaks volumes,” Reighard said.

Her husband, Doug Reighard, Pennsylvania American Legion Western Section vice commander, hopes seeing the honor roll can help people make a connection to the area’s military history.

“They need to be hung up and displayed, and (the museum) would be the best place for possible family members to see a grandfather or great-grandfather,” he said. “Take the little ones in and tell them, ‘Hey, that was your great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather that fought in World War I.’ ”

 

Walt Disney first world war sketchbook volume 1 near fricourt 1916 artiwmart16707a26f a2b085 editedWhile Walt Disney was working as an ambulance driver for the Red Cross, he helped deliver supplies to devastated towns in post-war France and also provided taxi services for army officers and Red Cross canteen workers. He also drew in every moment of spare time and on anything that even slightly resembled a blank page – including canvas ambulance flaps. 

Walt Disney and the Great War: Just Keep Drawing

By MouseEars TV Creative Editor
via the MouseEars TV web site 

11:00 a.m., November 11th, 1918, marked the end of the Great War.

But for Walt Disney, it was the beginning of chasing bright dreams which were born in the rubble of war-torn Europe. His brush with “the war to end all wars” changed his life, inspiring him to embark on a path that would lead to the creation of the world’s most beloved cartoon characters and the happiest place on earth.

On this Veteran’s Day (or Armistice Day, as it was originally known), I’d like to take a look at Walt and his Great War experience, and how his happy, soft-hearted characters were inspired despite – or maybe in response to – the darkness of war.

A Little Forgery Never Hurt Anyone

In 1917, America finally entered into the fray of the First World War, and patriotic Walt was ready and willing to go serve his country. His older brother, Roy, had already enlisted in the Navy, and Walt thought he “looked swell in that sailor’s uniform.”

But Walt was only 16. Too young to enlist – by one year. However, surrounded by posters of Uncle Sam and rousing songs like “Over There,” Walt said desperately, “I just had to get in there.”

So, he concocted a foolproof plan: counterfeiting.

An artist even back then, Walt put his skills to the test and altered his passport birthdate from 1901 to 1900, giving him that essential, extra year. He’s lucky he wasn’t like Pinocchio, or his nose would’ve gotten SUPER long at the recruitment office. Just saying.

The Walt Disney Archives has this incriminating document, and frankly, it’s been said that “the forgery is obvious.” Nevertheless, the ruse paid off, and Walt was made a part of the Red Cross Ambulance Corps.

All I can say is, it’s a good thing Walt decided a life of crime wasn’t for him!

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