Friday, April 25, 2014

World War One 100th Anniversary

The centennial of World War One will be commemorated in 2014, although the United States did not enter the war until 1917. Did you know that two million Americans volunteered for the Army, and nearly three million were drafted? For the first time over 30,000 women served in the ranks. Of these service men and women, more than 116,000 died and in excess of 200,000 were injured.

Undoubtedly there will be many events taking place throughout the United States to educate people about the significance of this war, dubbed "The Great War". We are getting things started early in my town of Webster Groves. The local historical society is presenting an exhibit entitled, LIFE ON THE EVE OF WORLD WAR I. It opens on Sunday April 27th at the historic Hawken House, 1155 South Rock Hill Road, Webster Groves, MO 63119. For more information, visit the Webster Groves Historical Society website.

Webster Groves Soldiers
I have been helping in a small way by gathering up some information about a few of the local men and women who served in the war, and what was going on in Webster Groves to support the war effort. It was interesting to read newspaper articles from that time period, which offered suggestions on how the local people could provide assistance.

Following the end of the war in November of 1918, the citizens of Webster Groves were quick to rally and take up a collection to erect a WWI memorial in the town. A letter soliciting donations was sent to every home in the Webster Groves School District (which was smart because the school district includes more than just the community of Webster Groves). The campaign must have been successful, because by May of 1919 the memorial was dedicated. One side of the memorial honors the eleven soldiers from Webster Groves who died in the war.

World War I Memorial

I am eager to see all of the other items in the exhibit this weekend. If you are free on Sunday, stop on by!


Mrs. Wryly said...

How was it? This is right up your alley!

Kim Wolterman said...

The event was canceled due to the threat of severe weather. I hope I can make it whenever it gets rescheduled!