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Sync Call for Wednesday March 16 at 12pm EDT

Click to play the webinar

News at a Glance

1. MA, AR, NYC commemorative bodies going live soon

2. Next Collaboration Call - April 7 - Overseas Battlefields Tours

3. New Joe Weishaar and Sabin Howard interview video

Read more below!


Help the WW1CC!

  1. Donate! Go to our donations page.
  2. Send us interns! Direct anyone you know who is interested to our Internship webpage.
  3. Help with state and regional organization! Let Andrew McGreal know and he will send you information on how to get involved.
  4. Shop at SMILE.AMAZON.COM! Enter the "United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars" as your charitable organization.
  5. Wear official WW1 commemorative merchandise with pride! Head over to the Commission shop for a full selection.


Starting last week (March 09), we began hosting our Sync Call on a new platform - GoToWebinar. We have exceeded the technical capacity of our previous platform and this transition will resolve many of the technical issues we have faced in recent calls.

To join us for the Sync Call you must register here (name and email are all that are required). You need register only once - doing so will sign you up to join next week's call and every call thereafter.

Thank you for working with us as we make this transition! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us via ww1cc.org/contact using subject line "Sync Call"

News and Announcements:

Updates from the States

Volunteer for state outreach. Contact Andrew McGreal if you are willing to help.

The Alabama WWI Centennial Committee will hold its next planning on March 29.

Arkansas will announce the establishment of an Arkansas WWI Centennial Commission on March 31.

New York City
The Greater New York City Committee is up and running thanks to Commissioner Libby O’Connell. They will officially announce the kick off of NYC’s commemorative activities on Wednesday, April 5 with a press conference in the city. Stay tuned for more details on that event.

Massachusetts’ Secretary of Veterans Affairs Francisco Urena will issue a proclamation announcing the establishment of a Massachusetts WWI Centennial Committee on Wednesday, April 6. A special thanks to volunteer Stephen Taber, who really took the bull by the horns to get a state commemorative body for the Commonwealth.

State Outreach Collaboration Call - April 7
The next State Outreach Collaboration Call will be held on April 7 at 12 pm EDT. This call will focus on Organizing Overseas Battlefield Tours. Panelists include representatives from from the French and Belgian Tourism Boards as well as a very experienced US-based tour guide. We will also have ABMC representatives on-hand to answer questions about ABMC cemeteries. We encourage you to join the call if your organization plans to operate or otherwise associate with battlefield tours during the centennial - the call promises to share alot of great information. To join this call’s roster, please email Andrew McGreal. If you would like to be added to the Collaboration Call roster, email Andrew McGreal. We will post a recording of this call and a report on it on ww1cc.org/State-Outreach.


Upcoming Events:

US Mint Coin Design Competition - Feb 29 - Apr 28
The United States Mint is calling on American artists to design a WWI commemorative coin, to be issued in 2018. The coin will serve as a tribute to the bravery, actions and sacrifices of Americans a century ago, while providing a tangible touch point for generations to come. The competition is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are at least 18 years or older. During Phase One of the competition, which is open from February 29–April 28, 2016, artists are encouraged to submit their contact information and three to five work samples using the online form on the Mint website. Up to 20 applicants from Phase One will be selected to participate in Phase Two, where they will create and submit designs and plasters for the final coin. The winner will not only have his or her initials on the final coin, but will also receive a $10,000 prize. The Coin Design Competition is an opportunity for American artists to inspire people with the bravery, actions and sacrifices of Americans, as well as encouraging future generations to remember and appreciate the history of World War I.

National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park

We’ve got a new video up in our online video library. It features a C-SPAN interview of the National WWI Memorial architect Joe Weishaar and sculptor Sabin Howard. They discuss the inspiration and meaning behind their design concept. You can view the video here.

Our main focus this month is on a reception in Fayetteville, Arkansas on April 1st in support of the Memorial. As you know, Joe Weishaar is a Fayetteville native and University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture alum. We’re reaching out to business leaders in Arkansas and surrounding states for support. We’ll be at Blessings Golf Club for an exclusive showing of the design renderings- Joe and Sabin will be in attendance along with the Honorable John Boozman, Senator from Arkansas.

Visit ww1cc.org/design to check out the winning design team and their design concept.

You can make this memorial a reality by making a donating $11.11 today to the Memorial Fund. These veterans deserve a memorial. We can build it.

The DOUGHBOY MIA Project: Research Assistance Needed

Doughboy MIA will be visiting the National Archives in College Park, MD on 29 March through 1 April. They need volunteers to help them review the 300 boxes of records of American soldiers from the Great War still listed as missing. Contact: Project Founder Rob Laplander at: rlaplander@wi.rr.com if you are interested in helping.

Challenge Coins

We will offer our partners the opportunity to create and purchase challenge coins with our logo on the obverse and theirs on the reverse. Let Meredith Carr know if you’re interested.

WW1 Commemorative Merchandise

The WW1CC merchandise store is open on our website! Go online to get your own fine-crafted piece of WW1 commemorative merchandise and to support the Commission all at once. We have an exciting and varied line of products available for purchase - check it out today!

DISPATCH Newsletter

The Commission publishes a weekly newsletter, the DISPATCH. If you’re not receiving this and want to, sign up on our Commission Subscription webpage.


Volunteer Spotlight

Nancy Schaff

Nancy Schaff is a Maryland volunteer who played a major role in standing up the Maryland World War I Centennial Commission last year.

Her interest in the First World War stems from her grandfather’s service in the war as part of the 79th division in the 314th regiment. After the war, the regiment formed an organization called the ‘Veterans of the 314th’, who met every year on Memorial Day to honor those with whom they served. This year will mark the 98th continuous memorial service.

The Veterans of the 314th built a log cabin while they were training. After the war, they bought the cabin, took it apart, relocated it, and put it back together piece by piece to it’s location behind the Washington Memorial Chapel. They kept the chapel open as a free museum on weekends. You can find more information on the website, 314th.org

Nancy attended the Commission’s launch event in D.C. years ago. She then became more involved, creating a grassroots effort in her home state of Maryland connecting individuals with their ancestry in WWI. Today, she uses her expertise to expand the MD WWICC educational program, particularly in the areas of STEM and innovation.

Nancy notes that what she does with the Commission is nothing compared to what her grandfather and others did during the war, so she encourages everyone to get involved with the centennial commemoration.


The Great War Channel

Would you like to see some great videos on YouTube about WWI? Check out The Great War Channel. Posting multiple times a week, ‘The Great War’ shows you the history of the First World War in the four years from 1914 to 1918. The host, Indy, takes you back week by week and shows you what was going on in the past. Please subscribe to see these great posts. Their latest videos are:

Equilibrium of Carnage at Verdun - Portugal Joins The War : THE GREAT WAR - Week 85
Published on Mar 10, 2016. The fierce battle of Verdun is still going on and the initial surprise momentum of the German Army under Erich von Falkenhayn is lost. Battles for hill tops and forts turn into carnage where even the winning side is loosing too much men to go on. The Siege of Kut is growing ever more desperate as the there is virtually no food left for the British Army. And in all that Portugal is joining the war.

Artillery and Officer Training - Treatment of Colonial Troops : OUT OF THE TRENCHES
Published on Mar 12, 2016. Indy sits in the chair of wisdom again to answer your questions and this week we are talking about artillery training, the education for officers and NCOs and if colonial troops were used as first in trench warfare.

German East Africa - World War 1 Colonial Warfare : THE GREAT WAR Special
Published on Mar 14, 2016. The military campaign in German East Africa during World War 1 went on longer than the whole war and thanks to Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck and his guerilla warfare is now infamous among the theatres of the great war. But what was the history behind German East Africa and was it really a gentleman's war and what role did the Askari play in it?

The Great War Project with Mike Shuster


Kut Siege in Third Month; Chaos Among Allied Reinforcements.
A Crucial British Loss.

Turkish troops in Mesopotamia, 1916.(8-11 March) While the meat grinder that is the Verdun battlefield in Western Europe churns on, the plight of the British contingent under siege in the desert Mesopotamian town of Kut on the Tigris River is becoming more desperate by the day.

In February of 1916, “waves of reinforcements were shipped from France to Basra,” writes historian Eugen Rogan, to break the Ottoman siege. “They arrived piecemeal, often separated from their artillery or horses in the haste of their transport.”

“The chaos of the docks turned Basra into a bottleneck, where units were held up for weeks while sorting their guns and horses before setting off for the front.”

All the while, the British troops trapped at Kut are running out of food and ammunition.

And from there it gets worse. “Inadequate river transport,” writes Rogan, “meant that most troops had to march the 200 miles from Basra to the front line near Kut.”

Two divisions of relief troops are promised to the British, They arrive “but far too slowly and unevenly to achieve numerical superiority over Turkish forces.”

The British commander of the reinforcements faces an impossible option. “Ideally,” observes Rogan, “he would wait until all his reinforcements had arrived before engaging the Ottomans. However with each passing week, fresh Ottoman troops were also reinforcing...”

Read more at GreatWarProject.org
British and Indian troops in Mesopotamia, 1916.


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