In August, 2017 I posted that the U.S. World War 1 Centennial Commission was seeking ideas for suitable inscriptions on the reverse side of the proposed memorial in Pershing Park. You can read that article by clicking here.

U.S.M.C. officers. Williams is on the right.

My personal favorite quote is “Retreat? Hell, we just got here.” – Capt. Lloyd Williams, 51st Co. 5th Marines, on June 2nd 1918 at Belleau Wood. Nine days later Williams was killed in the same action. You can read all about Capt. Williams here.

Alas, this quote didn’t make the cut. These are the inscriptions that have been approved:

“In their devotion, their valor, and in the loyal fulfillment of their obligations, the officers and men of the American Expeditionary Forces have left a heritage of which those who follow may ever be proud.” – Gen. John J. Pershing

“We leave you our deaths: give them their meaning: give them an end to the war and a true peace: give them a victory that ends war and a peace afterwards: give them their meaning. We were young, they say. We have died. Remember us.” – President Woodrow Wilson

“Never before have men crossed the seas to a foreign land to fight for a cause which they did not pretend was peculiarly their own, but knew was the cause of humanity and of mankind. “ – Archibald MacLeish 

“They were mortal, but they were unconquerable.” – Willa Cather

 “If it has to be that this world must be embroiled in a tremendous “War to end Wars,” I am glad that I, too, may play a part in it.” – Army Nurse Alta May Andrews

James (“Jim”) Patton BS BA MPA is a retired state official living in Shawnee, Kansas and a frequent contributor to several WW1 e-publications, including "Roads to the Great War," "St. Mihiel Tripwire," "Over the Top" and "Medicine in the First World War." He has spent many hours walking the WW1 battlefields, and is also an authority on British regiments and a collector of their badges. An Army Engineer during the Vietnam War, he does work for the US World War 1 Centennial Commission and has memberships in the WW1 Historical Association, the Western Front Association, the Indian Military Historical Society and the Salonika Campaign Society.