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Sync Call for Wednesday March 23 at 12pm EDT

Click to play the webinar

News at a Glance

1. Saving Hallowed Ground- National Centennial Memorial Tree Planting Project

2. WWI Memorial in Song- John Brancy

3. Send the Alabamians - New Video in the Video Library

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 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.

Mississippi has set a date for its Bicentennial Celebration, which will include commemorative events for the WWI Centennial. The dates are April 7 -9, 2017 and the events will take place at Centennial Plaza in Gulfport, MS.

Plans include:

  • Educational experiences for teachers and students with lesson plans and hands on activities
  • A Military Ball (1 in 4 people on the Mississippi coast are connected with the military)
  • A production on the Story of the State (which includes Mississippi’s involvement in WWI)
  • A Sunday Service to honor the fallen in WWI with some students performing excerpts from Remembrance

Missouri & the Great War is a statewide collaborative digitization project to document Missouri’s role in World War I. The project is a digital collection of historical documents, photographs, artifacts, oral histories and other primary source material from museums, archives, libraries, and private collections from across Missouri. Read more about it here.

During the upcoming Pennsylvania Museums Conference to be held at The Vanguard of the Museum Revolution in West Chester, PA, there will be an informal titled “Pennsylvania at War: Commemorating WWI & II”. This discussion is set for April 12 at 12:45 pm. Rusty Baker, Executive Director of PA Museums, and Beth Hager, Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission will lead the informal discussion and will detail an online effort to highlight World Wars commemorative activities in Pennsylvania. Visit the PA Museums website to view the preliminary program and register for the conference.

The Alabama WWI Centennial Committee will hold its next planning on March 29. The meeting will take place at the Alabama Department of Archives & History, 624 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36130.

Arkansas will announce a WWI Centennial Commission on March 31st with Governor Hutchinson. We’ll be there with Joe Weishaar and Sabin Howard in conjunction with various events next week in Joe’s home state. See the 'National Memorial' section below for more information.

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.

Texas pushed out its first newsletter this week. It covered a wide range of things happening across the state including information about the Texas Heritage Commission Task Force that will be leading WWI commemoration in TX. The Texas Heritage Commission Task Force is very large; it currently has 130 separate member organizations and 225 individual members, including volunteers, subject matter experts, authors, and reenactors. They are still working to identify new partners, continue collaboration, and formalize keystone events. They are looking toward a summer 2016 statewide meeting. If you would like to know more, check out their website.

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. 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.

Saving Hallowed Ground- National Centennial Memorial Tree Planting Project

Saving Hallowed Ground is preparing to launch their National Centennial Memorial Tree Planting Project- designed to facilitate communities across the United States and the world, in planting and dedicating Centennial Memorial Trees in memory of Veterans and/or family members who lived and/or served during the Great War.

This program was designed in the spirit of a tree planting program that originated in 1919 after the Great War. Their goal is to engage and promote awareness in our communities across the Country to recognize and honor our Veterans and Patriotic Citizens and the times in which they lived and or served during The Great War.

Each tree will be given an assigned number and GPS code and tree installations will be viewable on Google Earth.

The donor block program will allow individuals, families and businesses to purchase blocks inscribed with the names of Veterans and Patriotic citizens who lived and or served during the Great War, but other donations directed to prior times is certainly encouraged.

Saving Hallowed Ground Foundation encourages groups to participate, by sponsoring the planting of a National WW1 Centennial Memorial Tree in their communities. All citizens and groups are encouraged to participate in this historic project, including: Veterans Groups, Municipalities, Churches, Schools, Individuals and other civic associations.

WWI Memorial in Song- John Brancy


Baritone John Brancy and pianist Peter Dugan have been collaborative musical partners and friends since they met as students at the Juilliard School in 2007. Together they created A Silent Night: A WWI Centenary Tribute in Song which premiered on their first professional tour together as recitalists this past season. It is a collection of classical and popular art songs written mostly by composers who lived through, fought, and died in the Great War. They are looking for venues, traditional and nontraditional. They also need help putting together their album.

This program honors and illuminates the legacy of these composers, many of whom are often forgotten. On a larger scale, A Silent Night is the first program of its kind that uses the intimate art of classical song to the tell the story of the millions of soldiers who lost their lives in the Great War, simultaneously honoring their sacrifice and mourning their loss with a subtlety of expression that only great music and poetry can convey.

Following it's premiere at the Kennedy Center in 2014, A Silent Night was hailed as “refreshingly, marvelously different” and as a “smart program” that was performed “consummately well” - Anne Midgette, The Washington Post.

Since the premiere of A Silent Night, John and Peter have gone on to perform as a duo internationally, making their Carnegie Hall Presents debut this season.

Learn more about their program and upcoming album here.

WWICC Video Library

We have a new video posted in our online video library: Send the Alabamians. The video features a book discussion with Nimrod Frazer who talks about his book Send the Alabamians: World War I Fighters in the Rainbow Division, in which he recounts the history of the 167th Infantry Regiment during World War I.

Upcoming Events:

Forty-Seven Days
WWICC Ex Officio Member and Member of the Historical Advisory Board, Dr. Mitch Yockelson will begin his book signing tour on March 4 here in the Washington, DC area. Mitch’s new book is on the Argonne campaign, titled Forty-Seven Days: How Pershing's Warriors Came of Age to Defeat the German Army in World War I. His next book signing event will be at the Pritzker Military Museum & Library on March 29.

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

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 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

Megan Walker, WWICC Intern - Samford University in Alabama


I grew up going to historic forts, battlefields, and museums with my parents. They instilled a love of history in me that has continued throughout my life. When I was accepted into the Washington Center Internship Program, joining the Commission was only natural.

I am part of the State Outreach team with Rebekah and Andrew. We reach out to every states to encourage them to participate in commemorating the centennial.

In addition, I am the intern liaison for our Millennial Marketing campaign, which strives to make WWI seem more relevant and interesting to the millennial audience. Our plan includes numerous forms of outreach, from WWI-inspired 5K races to limited edition Ben & Jerry’s flavors.

One part of our marketing plan is a weekly throwback word, a term that had its origin during WWI. This week’s word is “basketcase.” Now it refers to an individual who is ditzy or even a bit crazy, but at its inception it had a starkly different definition. During WWI, a basketcase referred to a soldier who was badly injured with numerous missing limbs that had to be carried off the battlefield in a basket.

We will share more terms each week on the sync call, so tune in on Wednesday to find out the next throwback word will be.


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:

Battle of the Isonzo - Discord Among The Central Powers I THE GREAT WAR Week 86
Published on Mar 17, 2016. The alliance between the Central Powers of World War 1 doesn't seem to be as strong anymore. The Bulgarians, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany are following their own goals without really helping out the other. Erich von Falkenhayn is obsessed with Verdun, Conrad von Hötzendorf wants to go on the offensive again after the 5th Battle of the Isonzo and the Bulgarians don't have the resources to pursue their own goals. At the same time the unrestricted submarine warfare of the Germans is taking a deadly toll.

Germans in the US - Thalerhof Internment Camp : OUT OF THE TRENCHES
Published on Mar 19, 2016. It's chair of wisdom time again and this week Indy talks about German immigrants in the United States, the Austrian Thalerhof internment camp and German East Africa.

Propaganda During World War 1 - Opening Pandora's Box : THE GREAT WAR Special
Published on Mar 21, 2016. Propaganda was nothing new at the beginning of World War 1. But the rapid development in mass media and the total war effort by the nations led the way to our modern understanding of mass propaganda, especially in Germany and Britain. Iconic images like that of Uncle Sam or Lord Kitchener are still known today and are part of the collective memory.

"Cadorna Was An Idiot" - Our New Format! : OUT OF THE ETHER
Published on Mar 22, 2016. Since we love our comment section so much, we came up with a new format that we call Out Of The Ether. Indy reads out the best comments we got under our recent episodes. This time we are talking about Luigi Cadorna, Cocaine and Food. Let us know what you think about our new format in the comments.


The Great War Project with Mike Shuster


Armies Are Exhausted; Soldiers are Deserting.
Captain De Gaulle Attempts Escape, Over and Over Again.

French soldiers at Verdun, 1916.(20 March) The fierce battle for the French town of Verdun is ceaseless. Neither the French nor the Germans are willing to abandon the fight, which brings minuscule gains for each.

The Germans attack on this date, one hundred years ago. “At first,” writes historian Martin Gilbert, “the attack went badly, with many German infantrymen being buried alive in the deep jumping-off points they had dug facing the French frontline, which the French had spotted and blown in.”

Still, reports Gilbert, “The French troops in front of them had been in the trenches too long and their morale was too low.”

Both sides are exhausted, but they press on.

Some French soldiers fall into German hands, with devastating consequences.

“Deserters, reaching the German lines gave details of the passages through the French wire.”

“Within four hours of the German attack,” writes Gilbert, “the French position was captured, a whole French brigade being surrounded and surrendering: 2825 men, twenty-five machine guns and, to the amusement of the German war correspondent who broke the story, a full box of medals — the Croix de Guerre — ready for distribution.”

It is a German triumph and they try to capitalize on it, “to follow up their success,” writes Gilbert. “But French machine gunners, firing at them from three sides, led to 2400 German casualties and no further gains.”

The French president, Raymond Poincare, “who had been ashamed for French deserters…could breathe more freely, at least for awhile...”

Read more at GreatWarProject.org
Captain Charles De Gaulle.


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