World War 1 Centennial


15-Year Member
Retired Moderator
Feb 2, 2008
A classmate and good friend of mine runs the American Battle Monuments Commission which is responsible for all of the American Cemeteries in Europe and another classmate is one of the senior historians for the ABMC- kind of a military history buff's dream jobs. They recently made this well done film for the visitor center at the Meuse -Argonne Cemetery with the intent of giving the visitor a feel for a Soldier's lot in the Battle of the Meuse - Argonne. Enjoy:
Both of my grandfathers were officers in WWI, one was in the infantry, the other FA. Unfortunately, their records burned up in the St. Louis fire so we don't have much more. I did get a letter from the infantry LT before he died, along with an Iron Cross he got from a dead German during the Argonne Forrest. My mother told me that some old timers from his unit came to his funeral for one last reunion, "To send off their LT."
The FA officer I did not know as he died before I was born, but I know the war had a profound impact on him and he kept a diary which I have. He went into combat in January 1918, though nothing spectacular initially. In August, just before Saint-Mihiel his diary ends and does not pick up again until after the Armistice in November when he is on a ship home. In 3 months he went from a 2LT to a captain somehow. I know he also participated in Meuse-Argonne. He started to write about it on the ship home but never finished. We think he may have been wounded or gassed, which is why he was already on a ship home, but he never talked about it.
He tried, unsuccessfully, to keep his sons out of WWII due to the impact of his experience in WWI.
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