The WWI Memorial “Virtual Explorer” App is Nominated for Two Webby Awards

The Webby Awards are the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. Established in 1996 during the Web's infancy, The Webbys are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) with a 2000+ member judging body. Webby Awards are hailed as the "Internet's highest honor," the award is one of the oldest Internet-oriented recognitions, and is generally considered web, app, and digital technologies' highest award. 

"We are incredibly honored that the WWI Memorial "Virtual Explorer" App has been selected from among over 14,300 entries as a finalist in not one but two categories of the Webby Awards," said Theo Mayer the project's Producer/Director and the Chief Technologist for the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Doughboy Foundation. 

 

 

Remembering James Butler, R.A., MBE, 25 July 1931–26 March 2022 

By Commissioner Monique Seefried, Ph.D. 
United States World War One Centennial Commission

James Butler, who died last month at the age of 90, was a famous British figurative sculptor and the longest serving member of the Royal Academy. His notable works include not only large-scale bronze statues of famous historical figures like Queen Elizabeth or former Kenyan president Jomo Kenyatta, but also several memorials commemorating WWI and WWII in England, France and the United States. James Butler is also recognized for his smaller bronzes depicting dancers and nudes.

James Butler with his wife Angie and two of their daughters on November 12, 2011, the day of the dedication of the Rainbow Soldier at Croix Rouge Farm.Figure 1. James Butler with his wife Angie and two of their daughters on November 12, 2011, the day of the dedication of the Rainbow Soldier at Croix Rouge Farm.For many Americans, his name will remain associated with the centennial of WWI thanks partly to articles in the NYT in 2014 The War to End All Wars? Hardly. But It Did Change Them Forever. - The New York Times (nytimes.com) and 2018 Trump’s Nationalism, Rebuked at World War I Ceremony, Is Reshaping Much of Europe - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

I had the great fortune to meet Jim through his wife Angie and introduced him to Nimrod (Rod) Frazer who would inspire Jim to create two WWI memorials: the Rainbow Soldier (2011) and the Return from the Argonne (2019). Rod Frazer, a native Alabamian and Silver Star veteran of the Korean war, wished to honor his father who had been wounded in WWI at the battle of Croix Rouge Farm and awarded a Purple Heart. To do so, the land surrounding the remains of the Croix Rouge Farm was acquired in 2005, a foundation established and the search for an artist started. By 2007, it was clear that Jim Butler was the perfect artist for the project.

Figure 2. Drawing by James Butler in his studio as seen in 2007Figure 2: Drawing by James Butler in his studio as seen in 2007During our first of many memorable encounters, Jim took Rod Frazer and me to Valley Farm, the wonderful farmhouse where he had lived and worked since the 1980’s and where he and his wife Angie had raised their girls. On the drive through the English countryside, he explained how the land around us had been marked by many battles. We learned how Jim’s keen interest in military history had been shaped by two years of service in the Royal Signals, which had then led to the 1996 art commission for the WWII memorial to the Green Howards in Crépon (Normandy). Rod and Jim forged an instant kinship over the artist Charles Sergeant Jagger, both greatly admiring Jagger’s memorial to the Royal Artillery. It was immediately clear that these two men were made to understand one another. I will never forget the moment when we entered Jim’s studio and, hanging on the wall, was a drawing of a man carrying a dead body (Fig. 2). Later, when Jim asked Rod what he envisioned for the Croix Rouge Farm project, Rod turned the question around and instead asked Jim about what he had always wished to do. Jim went to the wall and pulled down the drawing we had seen upon entering his studio. The two men stood, holding the drawing between them. I felt that the die was cast. Rod told him: “You are the artist, you are the genius, you will know what you want us to do.”

 

Women's Fashion During WWI: 1914–1920 

By Delores Monet
via the Bellatory,com web site

Women and Fashion 1919Women's fashions of 1914–1920 were heavily influenced by World War I (The Great War) as well as the women's suffrage movement. Though clothing of this time is often referred to as Edwardian, in the strictest sense it is not, as King Edward VII died in 1910.

Shortly before the outbreak of World War I, fashion had taken on a whole new look based on influences from Turkey, the Middle East, and Asia with soft drapery and bold prints. The lines of Russian peasant costumes appeared in hip-length tunics, a style that lasted through the war years.

By 1914, women's clothing had lost the rigid, tailored lines of the Edwardian period, and the styles of fashion's first great design genius, Paul Poiret, obliterated the need for tight-fitting corsets.

World War I and Women

Before the war, Paris led the world of fashion. But due to the privations of war and loss of communication between the US and Europe, New York emerged as a fashion leader with new designs based on a combination of femininity and practicality.

During WWI, as men went off to fight, women took on jobs formerly filled by men. Women and girls who previously worked as domestic servants took jobs in munitions factories, performed administrative work, and worked as drivers, nurses, and on farms. They volunteered for organizations like the Red Cross and joined the military. A new image of freedom and self-respect led women away from traditional gender roles. They drove cars and demanded the right to vote.

Many of the occupations demanded the wearing of uniforms, including trousers. A military look crept into fashion designs as well, bringing military-style tunic jackets, belts, and epaulets. During World War I, people took to a plainer lifestyle. Women wore less jewelry, and the lavish clothing of the Edwardian period fell by the wayside.

As women dressed for new roles, gender-dictated dress codes relaxed. Skirts became shorter, as they often do during wartime, and colors became sober and muted.

 

The arrival of the American Fleet at Scapa Flow“The arrival of the American Fleet at Scapa Flow, 7 December 1917” Oil on canvas by Bernard F. Gribble, depicting the U.S. Navy’s Battleship Division Nine being greeted by British Admiral David Beatty and the crew of the British warship Queen Elizabeth. Ships of the American column are (from front) USS New York (BB-34), USS Wyoming (BB-32), USS Florida (BB-30) and USS Delaware (BB-28). Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command image.

Zero Milestone: Ike, World War I, and The American Century Of Oil

By Brian C. Black
via the Black Rifle Coffee Company Coffee or Die magazine web site

On July 7, 1919, a group of U.S. military members dedicated Zero Milestone – the point from which all road distances in the country would be measured – just south of the White House lawn in Washington, D.C. The next morning, they helped to define the future of the nation.

Instead of an exploratory rocket or deep-sea submarine, these explorers set out in 42 trucks, five passenger cars and an assortment of motorcycles, ambulances, tank trucks, mobile field kitchens, mobile repair shops and Signal Corps searchlight trucks. During the first three days of driving, they managed just over five miles per hour. This was most troubling because their goal was to explore the condition of American roads by driving across the U.S.

Participating in this exploratory party was U.S. Army Captain Dwight D. Eisenhower. Although he played a critical role in many portions of 20th-century U.S. history, his passion for roads may have carried the most significant impact on the domestic front. This trek, literally and figuratively, caught the nation and the young soldier at a crossroads.

Returning from World War I, Ike was entertaining the idea of leaving the military and accepting a civilian job. His decision to remain proved pivotal for the nation. By the end of the first half of the century, the roadscape – transformed with an interstate highway system while he was president – helped remake the nation and the lives of its occupants.

For Ike, though, roadways represented not only domestic development but also national security. By the early 1900s it become clear to many administrators that petroleum was a strategic resource to the nation’s present and future.

At the start of World War I, the world had an oil glut since there were few practical uses for it beyond kerosene for lighting. When the war was over, the developed world had little doubt that a nation’s future standing in the world was predicated on access to oil. “The Great War” introduced a 19th-century world to modern ideas and technologies, many of which required inexpensive crude.

 

Peter Conover HainsFirst Lieutenant Peter C. Hains, 1862; Major General Peter C. Hains, 1910s, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Major General Hains, as chief engineer for the Eastern Division of the Corps of Engineers, at his desk in April 1918. He was he only Civil War Officer to see duty in World War I. 

Washington, DC's Hains Point: How Did It Get Its Name?

via the Ghosts of DC web site 

Hains point is named for Peter Conover Hains. That was easy. You would know that if you checked Wikipedia, so I’m not really adding any value with this post. But if you go down there and enjoy the park, you should at least know a little about its namesake.

So who was Hains? He was a prominent Major General in the U.S. Army and served in the Civil War, Spanish-American War and World War I. Not only that, he was responsible for helping reclaim Potomac Flats and turning East Potomac Park and Hains Point into the enjoyable recreation area it is today.

As we all know, Washington was a nasty, swampy area which was horribly noxious in the hot, summer months. In August 1882, Congress allocated $400,000 to begin the reclamation of swampy flatland lining the Potomac in the hopes of improving city sanitation and getting rid of the nasty smell. The man in charge of this giant engineering project was Peter Hains.

The land that was created as a result of dredging the river makes up what is now East Potomac Park and Hains Point. The park housed a tea house in the 1920s (pictured below), which was run by the girl scouts.

A little tangent … Major General Hains also had some interesting (and hot tempered) offspring.

His son Peter Jr. was involved in a major murder scandal in 1909. He was convicted of killing his wife’s lover at a yacht club in Queens, New York, while his brother Thornton held back the horrified onlookers with his own gun. Crazy.

His grandson, Peter C. Hains III competed in the 1928 Olympics, not to mention his career as a Major General.

 

 

Take a quick tour of the Fort Des Moines Museum. During World War I, Fort Des Moines became the first training center for Black officers in the U.S. Army. Later, it was a training center for women.

Des Moines museums offer opportunity to explore Black soldiers' sacrifice: 'Valor never expires' 

By Carol Hunter
via the Des Moines Register newspaper (IA) web site

Under a hail of gunfire on a French battlefield in World War I, 2nd Lt. Rufus Jackson of Des Moines crawls forward among the muck and the bodies of his fallen comrades to pinpoint the location of German machine gun nests that are slaughtering his men.

U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Rufus JacksonFor his selfless heroism that day, Jackson was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross. But a team of military historians believes his valor in action fits the criteria for a Medal of Honor, the highest honor bestowed by the American military. He was denied that medal, the team believes, because of the racial discrimination of the times.

Iowa Columnist Courtney Crowder tells the story of Jackson’s bravery and of the work of the Parkville, Missouri-based George S. Robb Centre for the Study of the Great War. Its team of researchers is conducting a congressionally sponsored valor medals review to determine whether World War I soldiers were unjustly denied appropriate medals because of racial, ethnic or religious discrimination.

Courtney also expertly weaves in the story of another Iowan and Army veteran, Josh Weston, 32, who’s part of the medals review team. Weston, who served as a military police officer, has struggled with depression but has found renewed purpose in endeavoring to ensure that soldiers who served a century ago receive the honors they deserve for their heroism.

 Throughout our state’s history, tens of thousands of Black Iowans and people from other minority groups have served in the military with distinction, only to at best blend quietly back into civilian life without recognition of their sacrifice, or worse, endure discrimination or outright attacks in the country they defended.

If you’re interested in learning more about these soldiers’ lives and contributions, Des Moines offers two great places to start: the State Historical Museum, and the Fort Des Moines Museum and Education Center.

 

World War I Centennial Commission wins 2021 DowntownDC Momentum Award for National World War I Memorial

The DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) hosted its 2021 Momentum Awards on Thursday, March 24, 2022, at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. This ceremony celebrateed the visionaries who made significant contributions to maintaining DowntownDC’s vibrancy and proved their resiliency in the face of a challenging, yet still successful, year. 

Nine awards were presented organizations and individuals, including: Visionary of the Year; Person of the Year; Person of the Year; Private Sector Person of the Year; Public Sector Person of the Year; Partnership of the Year; Landmark Development Project of the Year; Sustainability Award; Downtown Detail Award; and Experience of the Year Award.

 The World War One Centennial Commission received the Downtown Detail Award for the opening of the National World War I Memorial at the former Pershing Park, on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, "which serves as a beautiful dedication to the heroism and sacrifice of Americans."


 

 

 

"They fought far beyond the call of duty": Minority WWI soldiers get a chance at Medal of Honor. The staff of the George S. Robb Centre at Park, set in motion by an Act of Congress, is conducting a review of valor medals for minority service members.

'Valor never expires': How a pair of Iowa researchers is honoring the heroic acts of diverse WWI soldiers 

By Courtney Crowder
via the Des Moines Register newspaper (IA) web site

The soldiers’ stories play out in Josh Weston’s subconscious like old movies.

They come to him in quiet moments: when he’s falling asleep, or when he’s driving to work at the Valor Medals Review Project before the world has woken up, the only sound the snoring of his service dog, Moscow.

There’s Cpl. Isaac Valley, a Black man who was severely wounded when, instead of taking cover, he jumped on a grenade in a trench of soldiers, saving dozens. And Pvt. Sing Lau Kee, an Asian American who, despite steady mustard gas attacks that paralyzed his commanders, refused evacuation and single-handedly kept a message relay center running, and troops moving, for 24 hours straight.

And Mjr. Julius Adler, a Jewish American from the Ochs family, publishers of the New York Times, who, while corralling German POWs, came upon a party of 150 enemy soldiers. Running toward them with his pistol raised and screaming for their surrender, he captured 50 more.  

These soldiers moved in separate orbits, coming home, carrying their service on their shoulders like an invisible boulder. They were connected by America’s first forgotten war, but living in bell jars, using the experience as either fuel for a full life or disappearing into themselves, the consequences of what they saw rattling around in their minds like balls in a bingo cage. 

But a century later, their stories collide with two questions:

  1. Were the medals for their heroic acts of valor downgraded solely because of their race, ethnicity or religion, as was common in America’s 20th century military?
  2. Can Weston, 32, employ the weight of historical forensics to muster enough proof that these men deserve to be awarded the Medal of Honor?

For nearly three years, Weston and his colleagues, Ashlyn Weber and Timothy Westcott, of Early, Iowa, have researched the actions of more than 200 World War I soldiers — African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Jewish Americans and Native Americans — who may have been discriminated against. 

While the military has conducted reviews of valor for World War II and all subsequent conflicts, their work marks the first — and, with funding for such endeavors increasingly scarce, likely the last — review of World War I servicemembers.

“This is the one and only shot that these servicemembers will ever have to get the attention that they deserve,” says Weston, the project’s senior military adviser and a Davenport native.

 

Pershing WIlson review AEF General of the Armies John Pershing and President Woodrow WIlson review elements of the American Expeditionary Forces in France. April 1917, the entry of America into World War I marks one of the major turning points in the nation’s history. In the span of just nineteen months, the United States sent nearly two million troops overseas, established a robust propaganda apparatus, and created an unparalleled war machine that played a major role in securing Allied victory in the fall of 1918. At the helm of the nation, Woodrow Wilson and his administration battled against political dissidence, domestic and international controversies, and their own lack of experience leading a massive war effort. To mark the 105th anniversary of the U.S. involvement in the war to end all wars, the University of Notre Dame Press will publish More Precious than Peace: A New History of America in World War I by military historian Justus D. Doenecke. 

“More Precious Than Peace” Uncovers the American Experience in World War I 

By Justus Doenecke
Special to the Doughboy Foundation web site 

I never intended to write about American military engagement in any war, much less World War I. Admittedly, as an undergraduate at Colgate University in the late 1950s, I had written by senior thesis on the controversy surrounding the Pearl Harbor attack. Yet my doctoral thesis, completed at Princeton in 1966, centered on the response of American opinion leaders to the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931. For the next forty years I was primarily researching in American anti-interventionism (misleadingly but commonly called “isolationism”), which led to a series of publications on the “great debate” over FDR’s foreign policy of 1939-41, the America First Committee, and opposition to Cold War involvement ranging from Greece in 1947 to Korea in 1950. I taught upper division courses on both world wars and on the Cold War but my focus was more often on diplomatic and ideological factors than on battles and leaders.

Justus D. DoeneckeJustus D. DoeneckeIn 2005, at age 67, I retired from the faculty of New College of Florida, the state’s honors college, where I had taught for 36 years. Hoping for a large project to keep me occupied during my new “permanent leave,” I extended my interest in anti-interventionism to World War I and its immediate aftermath. Though never having researched on the Great War, my Princeton mentor was Arthur S. Link, the nation’s leading scholar on Woodrow Wilson. I was also strongly influenced by Princeton’s Arno J. Mayer, who stressed ideological battles between Wilsonianism and Leninism. Over the years, I had collected a number of contemporary books on the war. This project would give me a good excuse to read them.

I began by focusing on such anti-interventionist figures as publisher William Randolph Hearst, auto manufacturer Henry Ford, erstwhile Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan, German-American spokesman George Sylvester Viereck, and Senator Robert M. La Follette. I soon found myself confronting such complicated matters as public perception of the belligerents, the preparedness controversy, the nature of submarine warfare, the British blockade, and Wilson’s neutrality policies. I quickly realized that the only way to explain accurately the debates over these items was to delve as well into administration policy, as reflected in such figures as the president, Wilson confidant Colonel E.M. House, Secretary of State Robert Lansing, and Walter Hines Page, ambassador to Britain. I soon found myself engaging figures far more hawkish than Wilson, such as Theodore Roosevelt, corporation lawyer James M. Beck, and former army chief of staff Leonard Wood. Well within a decade, I had amassed enough matter to write Nothing Less Than War: A New History of America’s Entry into War (2011), covering the period August 1914 to early April 1917.

My current book, its sequel, is titled More Precious Than Peace: A New History of America in World War I (2022). Both book titles come from Wilson’s war message of April 2, 1917, undoubtedly the most arresting speech he ever gave. Here I take the narrative from the conscription debates of April-May 1917 through negotiations surrounding the Armistice of November 11, 1918. The work centers on such matters as the draft, government propaganda, arch-nationalist and peace organizations, military mobilization, the ill-fated ventures into northern Russia and Siberia, and the war aims of the belligerents. For the first time, I tried my hand at combat history, that is coverage of engagements of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) on Western Front.

As far as sources go, I began research by going through the published papers of Woodrow Wilson, edited by my mentor at Princeton, Arthur S. Link. I did the same for the published letters of Theodore Roosevelt, edited by Elting Morison. I then went through the debates recorded in the Congressional Record and diplomatic records as published in the State Department’s Foreign Relations volumes. I then covered the years 1917-18 in detail through two newspapers, almost issue by issue: the New York Times and Hearst’s New York American, the latter a surprisingly good paper as far as coverage went, despite the obvious quirks of the publisher himself. (There is far more to Hearst than Citizen Kane!) I then went through, issue by issue, the following weekly journals: the Literary Digest; the Nation; the New Republic, the Outlook, and the War Weekly of the North American Review. I did the same for the monthly journals North American Review and Current Opinion. I read the newspaper columns of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. I went through the papers of Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, obtained on microfilm from the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston. In addition to countless published monographs and articles in professional journals, I read a good number of doctoral theses. Newspapers.com, which I discovered only about six years ago, became an increasingly valuable resource.

 

How an ‘Imposter’ Journalist Changed the Course of World War I 

By Mark Arsenault
via the Time Magazine web site 

commander boy ed world war 1 espionageCaptain Karl Boy-EdThree days after Christmas in 1915, a New York City taxi bounced over streetcar tracks and weaved among the horse buggies on its way out of the city to the 5th Street Pier in Hoboken, New Jersey, home of the Holland-America cruise line, as the grand Dutch ocean liner Rotterdam prepared for an Atlantic crossing to Europe. It carried a special fare: German diplomat Captain Karl Boy-Ed, a career military man and the German embassy’s naval attaché, one of the highest-ranking consular posts.

After nearly four years stationed in America, Boy-Ed was sailing home in disgrace. President Woodrow Wilson’s administration had ejected Boy-Ed from the United States, along with his colleague in the German diplomatic corps, military attaché Franz von Papen, due to a rising pile of evidence that the diplomats were engaged in sabotage and deceptive propaganda in brazen violation of America’s policy of neutrality in World War I.

The war had been raging in Europe for a little over a year. As a neutral nation, the United States maintained diplomatic relations with each of the major combatants: Germany and its ally Austria-Hungary on one side, and England, France, and Russia on the other. For Germany, the expulsion of Boy-Ed and Papen was a humiliating setback in international relations.

What made the day even worse for the intellectual and gentlemanly Boy-Ed was that he had been chased from America by a mysterious loudmouth who edited a small daily newspaper in, of all places, Providence, Rhode Island. Over the previous six months, the Providence Journal—led by its flamboyant editor John Revelstoke Rathom—had printed dozens of exclusive stories exposing alleged German intrigue in America. German diplomats in the United States were scandalized by the onslaught of articles, which blamed them for plots from passport fraud to propaganda, to undermining US industry and labor, to outright sabotage.

In Rathom’s most outrageous story, he had named Boy-Ed as the point man in a German conspiracy to return the exiled Mexican dictator Victoriano Huerta back to power in a coup, and to smuggle weapons to Huerta so that Mexico could attack the southwestern United States. It sounded too crazy to be true. Trying to goad the United States and Mexico into a shooting war? Boy-Ed denied every word of it. But the Germans understood that many people in the United States believed Rathom—too many. And if enough Americans came to see Germany as a menace, the United States might enter the war on the side of Britain and its allies.

 

NARA webinar part 1 screenshot from TwitterThe advertisement for the September webinar series with the National Archives. Graphic by the National Archives. 

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Webinars and Monthly Event Series 

By Stephen Carney, Command Historian, Arlington National Cemetery
Special to the Doughboy Foundation Web Site

Beginning in January 2021, Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) commenced a monthly program of events focused on different aspects of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, as part of its year-long centennial commemoration. While the initial planning for these programs in 2019 envisioned that they would primarily be held in-person, ANC had to pivot due to ongoing Covid surges. As a result, the majority of our monthly programs were held in a webinar or video only format. While this proved challenging at first, the creative opportunities this shift afforded ultimately outweighed the difficulties.

Specifically, webinar and video formats allowed all of the programs to be viewed by participants from across the United States and around the world, regardless of their ability to travel or visit the cemetery in person. This truly enabled ANC to bring the Tomb commemoration to a global audience. All content remains available for on-demand viewing on our webinar main page: www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Tomb100/Centennial-Events/Monthly-Programs. This outcome also fulfilled one of the main educational goals of the 2017 National Defense Appropriations Act (NDAA), which established the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration.

In order to successfully execute these virtual events, ANC partnered with a number of organizations to broadcast, participate in, and host a series of interactive webinars. In January 2021, ANC and the National WWI Museum and Memorial began the series by co-hosting a webinar on “Teaching the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” featuring one of ANC’s education modules. Established in 2019, ANC’s first official Education Program includes materials for teachers, students, life-long learners, and families (content is available at https://education.arlingtoncemtery.mil).

For the February program, the National WWI Museum and Memorial again served as the co-host and joined us to organize a workshop for educators, “Teaching with Things: How Artifacts Illuminate the Past”. Panelists included experts from ANC, the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Nearly 500 teachers received continuing education credits for participating in that webinar.

The National World War II Museum hosted and moderated the August 2021 webinar, “World War II Unknowns: A Roundtable Discussion Commemorating the Centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier”, which featured presenters from ANC, the National Cemetery Administration (NCA), and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). These experts on the history of unknown and unidentified American service members in World War II shared different perspectives on this topic in a lively and engaging public forum.

In September 2021, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) hosted a two-part webinar series with ANC and NARA specialists, which examined “Records Related to Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier” (Part 1 and Part 2.) For the October 2021 program, the National WWI Museum and Memorial again served as the host, this time for a joint webinar with ANC and the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC): “Eternally Unknown: The Selection of the WWI Unknown Soldier”. This webinar was held on October 22, the 100th anniversary of the date when the four World War I unknown candidates were disinterred from four American cemeteries in France. Two days later, in a ceremony on October 24, 1921, one would be selected for burial in the Tomb.

 

 During Women’s History Month, #VeteranOfTheDay for March 30, 2022 is Army Veteran Helen Grace McClelland, who served as a nurse during World War I.During Women’s History Month, #VeteranOfTheDay for March 30, 2022 is Army Veteran Helen Grace McClelland, who served as a nurse during World War I.

WWI Army Veteran Helen Grace McClelland 

via the VAntage Point web site ou the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Director of Public Affairs

Helen Grace McClelland was born in Ohio in 1887. She enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in 1908 and graduated in 1912. When the Red Cross asked for volunteers in 1914 to aid overseas during World War I, McClelland answered the call. She volunteered in 1915 for the American Ambulance Service and served in France.

The U.S. officially entered the war in 1917, but McClelland saw it as her duty to continuing helping in the humanitarian effort overseas. After briefly returning to the U.S., she officially joined the Army Nurse Corps in 1917 and was brought back to Europe’s Western Front to continue aiding in the war effort. She served in the American surgical team attached to British Casualty Clearing Station No. 61.

McClelland worked near to the front and saw the gore of war first-hand. While working along the French and Belgian border with the surgical team at British Casualty Clearing Station No. 61, her German bombers attacked her nursing station. She first assisted her tentmate, fellow nurse Beatrice Mary MacDonald, who was bleeding out from the initial attack. Then, she aided others injured by the bombs’ blasts. Despite being under heavy fire, McClelland rushed to aid those wounded by the bombs, ignoring the present danger surrounding her. For these actions, McClelland received a Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in July 1918. She is one of only three women to receive a Distinguished Service Cross. The British also bestowed upon her a British Royal Red Cross First Class for her actions.

McClelland left the Army Nurse Corps in May 1919 after her nursing station disbanded.

After World War I, McClelland worked as a nurse at Pennsylvania Hospital, starting in 1926. She promoted to director of the nursing department there in 1933 and worked in that role until she retired in 1956. As head of the nursing department, McClelland created two-year and four-year training programs at the hospital for new nurses. She was also instrumental in acquiring national accreditation for the nurse education program at the hospital.

 

16SergentYorkKGBCOn Oct. 8, 1918, Corporal Alvin C. York killed 20 German soldiers and captured 132 more as part of the Meuse-Argonne offensive. His battle heroics earned him the Medal of Honor. In 1941, the film “Sergeant York,” with Gary Cooper playing York, received nine Academy Award nominations and took home the Oscar for Best Film Editing and Best Actor.

Best World War I movies of all time 

By Annalise Mantz
via the Stacker web site

Writers, directors, composers, editors, and all kinds of artists are inspired by what’s happening in the world around them. It then follows that monumental historical events like World War I would have an equally monumental impact on media and culture. Even before the United States entered the war, Hollywood was inspired by the conflict in Europe—and as the American relationship with WWI evolved, the subject matter shifted from advocating for neutrality to celebrating nationalism.

Of course, filmmakers didn’t stop producing movies about the Great War when it ended. Some of the most influential films about WWI were made decades after Armistice Day.

To study the impact the First World War had on the big screen, Stacker consulted the top-rated war films on IMDb and ranked the top 25 about WWI. To qualify, the film had to have at least 2,500 votes and had to cover the Great War in one way or another. Any ties were broken by IMDb user votes. The list runs the gamut from silent films with groundbreaking aerial battle scenes to emotional dramas about the human cost of war.