Kansas WW1

Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Category: Monuments & Memorials (page 1 of 13)

Pershing Park Memorial Update

At the February 7th meeting of The National Capitol Planning Commission, preliminary approval was given for the current design for this project. Final approval is expected in about three months. The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission still needs to raise about $20 million towards the estimated cost to build. You can learn more at this link. ...read more

American War Memorials Overseas, Inc.

In previous posts we’ve discussed the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) (see link here), but there is another organization dedicated to serving the memory of Americans who fought and died in foreign wars.

Founded by Major Lillian A. Pfluke in July 2006, American War Memorials Overseas, Inc. (AWMO) is a private non-profit organized under Sec. 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. There are over 1,000 American war memorials and monuments overseas (including the Missouri Memorial depicted above) and nearly 1,000 American war dead buried in cemeteries that are not under the care of the ABMC or the Department of Defense. The AWMO’s mission objectives are these: ...read more

Soldiers Memorial, St. Louis

While passing through St. Louis recently I stopped at the recently reopened Soldiers Memorial Military Museum. The Memorial was opened in 1938 as a tribute to those from St. Louis who made the supreme sacrifice in the Great War.

In 2015 the Missouri Historical Society assumed control of the operations of the Memorial and immediately began a revitalization of it. This past November 3rd, the Memorial reopened to the public. ...read more

WW1 Tanks You Can See

WW1 Tank Facts

This table lists data about the four most common tanks used by both sides in WW1. You can read more about the FT-17 here.

The entry ‘Marks’ encompasses all the British Heavy Tanks, variously designated as Mark I,II,III, IV and V.

Whippet tank Royal Military Museum, Brussels

The largest number of surviving examples are at The Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset U.K. There are eight FT-17’s, one Mark IV, one Mark V and one Whippet on display in the U.S. ...read more

How Many Countries?

A good starting point is to list all of the nations that were represented at the peace conference in 1919.

These were 32 allied and associated powers, either as voting members or as observers. This number consisted of:

  • The thirty sovereign nations that declared war (see list to follow),
  • Less Montenegro, which was included in the 1919 Jugo-Slav state along with Bosnia, Croatia and Slovenia,
  • Less Newfoundland and
  • Including Czechoslovakia, the Arab state of Hedja, Poland and the 1919 Jugo-Slav state.

The five defeated nations were also allowed to be represented but were excluded from all of the deliberations. ...read more

WW1 Battlefield Archaeology Using LIDAR

A project is ongoing to search the battlefields around the Ypres Salient to detect WW1 archeological sites using LIDAR technology. Perhaps you’re not familiar with the term LIDAR?

 ‘Lidar (also called LIDARLiDAR, and LADAR) is a surveying method that measures distance to a target by illuminating the target with pulsed laser light and measuring the reflected pulses with a sensor. Differences in laser return times and wavelengths can then be used to make digital 3-D representations of the target. The name lidar, now used as an acronym of light detection and ranging (sometimes light imaging, detection, and ranging), was originally a portmanteau of light and radar.’ From Wikipedia. ...read more

Shaping Our Sorrow

Largely through the efforts of British Maj. Gen. Sir Fabian Ware (1869 – 1949),  a Royal Charter created the Imperial War Graves Commission on May 21st, 1917.

In 1960 the name was changed to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) to reflect modern reality.

The CWGC has responsibility for remembering the sacrifice of over 1.7 million persons from its constituent nations who have died in military actions since 1914. Over the course of its history, the CWGC has constructed over 2,500 cemeteries and memorials that are now located in 153 nations, and it  also assumes responsibility for over 23,000 individual burials outside of CWGC cemeteries, mostly in community or church plots, including two in Kansas.

The CWGC is traditionally headed by a royal, currently Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, who is a first cousin of the Queen. It is funded by voluntary contributions from the six nations representing the British Imperial Forces in WW1.  Although technically a part of one of the belligerent nations, Bangladesh, Ireland, Myanmar and Pakistan (ceased in 1956) don’t contribute. The contribution shares are based on the number of graves as a percentage of the total, and are United Kingdom 78.4%, Canada 10.1%, Australia 6.1%, New Zealand 2.1%, South Africa 2.1% and India 1.2%. The total budget for the CWGC is currently £66.5 million, of which £58.6 million is from the member governments and the rest comes mostly from private donations.

In the course of this blog we have visited 30 CWGC memorials, located on four continents. As a sort of capstone to four years of centennial events, the CWGC has a new website called Shaping Our Sorrow. You can visit this site here.

11/11 at the Washington Cathedral

Here is a link to the report on this event published by The American Legion.

The Pershing Park Memorial project is still bogged down in the approval process at the National Capital Planning Commission.

The U.S. WW1 Centennial Commission reports that it is still short about $20 million to fully fund this endeavor.

The new projected dedication date is 11/11/2021.

Memorials to the Missing – Suresnes

Suresnes American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) Cemetery and Gallery is located in Suresnes, Haut-de-Seine, France, a suburb northwest of Paris, on the eastern slope of Mt. Valerien, offering a sweeping panoramic view of Paris from the cemetery’s chapel steps. This chapel was designed by the distinguished ‘American Renaissance’ architect Charles Platt of New York and the French landscape designer Jacques Gréber was employed to lay out the site plan and cemetery, which choice was unusual as Gen. John Pershing, head of the ABMC at the time, much preferred to use Americans for this work.

The significant chapel details include the mosaic of the Angel of Victory (now called the Goddess of Victory), which isn’t a Christian symbol at all and actually started with the Berlin Victory Column built in 1873. After the First World War several Angels of Victory were erected, notably in London, Montreal and Vancouver. Also in the chapel there are two cast bronze panels listing 974 missing American military personnel of WW1 who aren’t commemorated elsewhere.

The site was originally selected for the burial of Americans, both military and civilian, ultimately 1,541 of them, who died in Parisian hospitals during the WW1 era. Suresnes is atypical amongst ABMC cemeteries in that it isn’t a concentration site; all burials here were original. A notable grave is that of Brig. Gen. Robert E.L. Michie (1864-1918), commander of the 53rd Brigade, 27th Division, who died from a heart attack. The site was dedication by President Woodrow Wilson and Mrs. Wilson in May, 1919 although the construction wasn’t finished until 1932.

There are 24 unknown burials in a separate plot here that are believed to be Americans killed by the Gestapo at nearby Fort Mt. Valerien during the WW2 occupation.

After WW2 the site was improved as the American WW1 and WW2 Monument in Paris, as it is convenient for visits by French government officials and American Presidents making brief stopovers. The sons of the original architect, William and Geoffrey Platt, designed the loggias and WW2 Memorial Room and the site was rededicated in 1952.

In the WW1 Memorial Room there is preserved the palm frond that President Wilson laid on the site in 1919.

Armistice ‘Throwback’ uniforms

The University of Nebraska football team will wear ‘throwback’ uniforms this Saturday in observance of the Centennial of the Armistice and the original dedication of Memorial Stadium in Lincoln.  The jerseys bear the inscription in place of the player’s name:

 “Not the victory but the action; Not the goal but the game; In the deed the glory.”

The game will be shown on The Big Ten Network starting at 11:00 AM Central Time.

You can read more about this here.

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