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Sync Call for Wednesday May 18 at 12pm EDT

Snow and ice a big factor on Italian Fronts.

News at a Glance

1. May is Memorial Month! - Special Seminar Tomorrow

2. New Memorial Webpage: WW1CC.org/Memorial

3. Friends of Jenny: WW1CC.org/DH4

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! Email the National Coordination Team 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.

Register for the Sync Call

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.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us via ww1cc.org/contact using subject line "Sync Call"

Updates from the States

Volunteer for state outreach. Contact the National Coordination Team if you are willing to help.

State Outreach Special Seminar: May is Memorial Month - Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, we will hold a special collaboration-call-seminar titled “May is Memorial Month: Merchandising & More” at 12 pm Eastern time. This call aims to help states create commemorative opportunities in May and around Memorial Day. It will also provide information on creating your state’s own commemorative merchandise, so tune in if that sounds interesting. Email the National Coordination Team for an invitation to the call.


WWI cannon in Sioux City.

A group of veterans in Sioux City are working to restore a WWI cannon at Sioux City’s Memorial Park Cemetery. The cannon - more than 100 years old - was used in France in 1918, and the U.S. War Department awarded it to the Sioux City chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart in 1942. It has deteriorated significantly since then and these vets decided enough is enough. They’re currently researching paths forward.


Hey all of you who are working state-based activities - have you checked out the State Outreach section of the website: WW1CC.org/State-Outreach? We are improving it every day - and we encourage you to check it out for the latest version of The Green Book, tools, resources, reports from Collaboration Calls, and more.

News and Announcements:

Call to Action: May is Memorial Month!

We are using the weeks leading up to Memorial Day to increase public awareness of the National World War one Memorial we will be building in Washington DC.

Our largest organizational challenge is increasing public awareness of the impact WW1 has on our daily lives, why the war was so pivotal, and that the United States is on the cusp of the 100th anniversary of almost five million young Americans serving in WW1. Each state based organization, and each volunteer within, can play a critical role in addressing this public awareness challenge.

YOU can help us engage the American people in the next month, and here’s how;

1. Letters to the Editor

Every local newspaper accepts LTE, and this is a wonderful way to reach tens of thousands of your neighbors with WW1 messaging. There are two ways this can happen. First, a handwritten letter or typed can be mailed to your local newspaper’s mailing address. The letter should be no more than 2-3 paragraphs, maybe 300 words, and in it you can be very direct about what you are writing, such as; “It is important that your readers appreciate the sacrifice of so many Americans in WW1,” etc. Feel free to speak about why this matters to you, as well, in a personal context, since perhaps a relative served or some part of the war and resulting social change has had an impact on your family or community. The second way is through the paper’s web page, and normally this can be found in the “Contact Us” section, or just search the page for Letters to the Editor. The same format as handwritten applies; 2-3 paragraphs, somewhere around 300 words, etc. One thing that is critical is to include our web site in any letter, be it handwritten or submitted on their page, so together we not only raise awareness but engage people with ways they can help. WW1CC.ORG is the address every letter should contain.

2. Open Comment period in groups you belong to.

Many civic groups, neighborhood groups, Rotaries, etc often conclude their monthly meetings with open comment periods. This is a perfect opportunity to raise your hand and share some of the same sentiments discussed in the letter to the editor section above. World War One matters. We live in a world shaped by the Great War. We need people’s help to honor properly the almost five million who served. Maybe print up some information with our web site on it and have it ready to hand out. YOU can be a major asset in our effort to increase public awareness!

Your own networks; friends, colleagues, church attendees, neighbors; when you are having casual chats about Memorial Day weekend plans, that is a perfect time to talk about the meaning of Memorial Day and how we have a generation of forgotten vets who were signing up 100 years ago right now. Take a minute in May and have that conversation, remind people that Memorial Day is more than a three day weekend, it is a tribute to men and women throughout our history who were willing to put their lives on the line for this country.

3. Activate your e-mail lists and social media

Take a moment one morning in the next week and sit down and write out why World War One matters to you. Why did you decide to volunteer? Why is this a passion for you? Then take that and share it with friends, family, and neighbors through your e-mail or social media. Many of us talk about what we think is important, but it is actually kind of rare when people speak about WHY that subject is important to THEM. This is your chance, and as always, include WW1CC.ORG so we not only engage them, inform them, we also give them a way to get involved just like you did.

Memorial Day Ceremonies at National Cemeteries: 2016

Thanks to our Ex Officio Member at the Dept of Veterans Affairs, Joe Curtin, we can share with you the listing of all the ceremonies at national cemeteries across the country on Memorial Day. This listing is in alphabetic order by state. You can find this list here.

Friends of Jenny - DH4

The organization Friends of Jenny is working to reconstruct a DH-4 “Liberty Plane.” The plan is to reconstruct the DH4 with as many original parts as they can. It will be able to fly- to not only commemorate those who flew her in World War 1, but also all military aviators who have served over the last 100 years. If you are interested in learning more about the project and getting involved and helping you can visit their site here: ww1cc.org/dh4.

Press Conference to Announce WWICC Special Advisers

On Wednesday, May 18, the Commission held a press conference at at the National Press Club to announce our newest special advisers. Secretary Leon Panetta headlined the event along with Gen. Barry McCaffrey, Vint Cerf aka “The Father of the Internet”, Sandy Pershing, and Ambassador Carol Moseley-Braun. And speaking of press, we have a new press resources webpage on our website. You can find it at WW1CC.org/PressResources. Use it if you need it or share it around with press folks you know.

Upcoming Events

Wargaming Jutland - May 31

Jutland wargame - May 31, 2016.

Battle of Jutland Wargame at the Washington Navy Yard, 12 pm EDT.
The Battle of Jutland on 31 May - 1 June 1916 was the only major surface action between the battleships and battlecruisers of the British Royal Navy's Grand Fleet and the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet. The battle ended in a German tactical victory, but resulted in a British strategic triumph. Can you repeat the German victory, or win the day for Britain? Using simple rules (involving a lot of dice rolling) players will have the chance to re-fight the naval battle endlessly studied and replayed in a similar fashion by U.S. British, and Japanese navies of the Interwar Period. Contact edward.furgol@navy.mil to reserve your spot at the battle.

Battle of Jutland Lecture - June 1

The National Museum of the US Navy will also give a living history lecture on the Battle of Jutland. That will take place at 12 pm EDT. Contact edward.furgol@navy.mil for more information.

National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park

The Commission has launched a new section of the national website that features the National WWI Memorial Project. You can get to it by going to WW1CC.org/memorial.

Here you will find all the current and past information from archival access to the 350 initial submissions, to a project timeline, to the latest information about the project today. We also hope to launch a BLOG series of articles starting this summer.

And of course, don’t forget we need your help to make this memorial a reality. There are no longer any living veterans from WWI. It’s up to us to speak for them with our contributions to this great memorial project. Visit WW1CC.org/Donate today.

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.


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:

The British Death March in Mesopotamia : THE GREAT WAR Week 94
Published on May 12, 2016. After the Ottoman victory at Kut, the suffering for the British and Indian prisoners is not over. They embark on a death march towards their prison camps. Sick, hungry and with no protection from the blazing sun, the soldiers have to suffer again and again. Meanwhile, the Eastern Front is still drowning in spring thaws and in Verdun, the French rotation system proofs its strategical advantage.

The Importance Of Oil - Ethiopian Empire : OUT OF THE TRENCHES
Published on May 14, 2016. Chair of Wisdom Time again. And this week Indy talks about the importance of oil and that big battle in the Ethiopian Empire you never heard of.

Josip Broz Tito in World War 1 : WHO DID WHAT IN WW1?
Published on May 16, 2016. Josip Broz, later known as Tito, was one of the most controversial and important people of the 20th century. His political identity and his determination were built during his military service in the Austro-Hungarian Army where he had to fight in Serbia and in Galicia.


The Great War Project with Mike Shuster


Austrians Deploy Hundreds of Guns on Trentino Front.
Terrible Toll at Verdun as Battle Drags On.

Snow and ice a big factor on Italian Fronts.

(14-17 May) During these days in May a century ago, the Germans are building up their defenses on the Western Front.

The major fighting for the Central Powers is the launch of a massive Austrian offensive on the Trentino Front, in the mountains between Italy and Austria.

It’s an area, writes historian Michael Neiberg, “with many ethnic Germans whom the Austro-Hungarians hoped might help them to win a major victory.”

“The offensive began well for the Austro-Hungarians,” Neiberg reports.

Italians scale Alpine peaks to defend their lines, date uncertain.

The massive Austrian offensive on the Trentino Front involved “400 guns participating in the opening bombardment,” according to historian Martin Gilbert. The Austrian goal is to break out of the mountains and onto the Venetian plain and knock Italy (one of the allied powers) out of the war.

That might have happened if the Germans helped their Austrian allies. But the Germans do not provide the support the Austrians need. The goal of the Austrians — to cut off the Italians on the slopes of the Isonzo mountains — might have worked if the Germans were inclined to support the Austrians.

They offer no such help, observes historian Norman Stone. “Still the Austrians persist. It was a very bold plan…including hauling heavy guns with ski-lift cable cars.”

“After a fierce resistance the Italians were driven off the mountain peaks,”

…writes historian Gilbert. “Heavy snow nine days after the offensive began forced it to a halt…within a week the offensive was resumed, and one by one the peaks and passes fell.”

The Austrians capture 30,000 Italian soldiers. “But the advance across mountainous craggy terrain exhausts the attackers. A gain of twelve miles, so small an area on the map, was for those who had carried it out, a major success.”

“This was the only “might-have-been in the war,” reports Stone. If the Germans support the Austrians…then Italy “could easily have been knocked out altogether with dramatic consequences for the other fronts.”

“The option was never seriously considered.”

On the Western Front, the battle at Verdun in northern France is still raging. It begins in February 1916 a century ago, and it quickly bogs down in the horrible stalemate that is so characteristic of the war on the Western Front.

By this time at Verdun, casualties for both the Germans and the French each numbered some 100,000 killed and wounded. And there is no end in view for the Verdun battle. It grinds on with deadly persistence.

French soldiers, victims of German bombardment at Verdun, spring 1916.

Read more at GreatWarProject.org


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