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Sync Call for Wednesday December 16 at 12pm EST
Haig and King George V
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Help the WW1CC!

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

News and Announcements:

Updates from the States

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

January 07 State Outreach Collaboration Call
We will hold our third State Outreach Collaboration Call in the new format on Thursday January 7 at 12 pm EST. This call will focus on ‘Organizing a Commemorative Body’ and we will have a panel of experts from several libraries from across the country on the line. This will be a great call for all up-and-coming state commemorative bodies to attend.. Reminders will be sent out the day of the call. The call-in number will be the same as past calls - contact a State Outreach Coordination team member to get on the roster.

State Outreach Webpage
We have a brand new State Outreach webpage set up on the Commission website. It houses the State Outreach Guide and its toolbox of Commission resources, the state outreach status map, as well as the minutes and recordings from our monthly State Outreach Collaboration Calls.

The National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park- Updates

The final concepts are on the Commission's Stage II Design Development webpage. Read all about the concepts and examine high-definition pictures; post your comments, too. Additionally, the design concepts are currently on easel display in the lobby of the John A Wilson Bldg, caddy-corner to Pershing Park. The the John A Wilson Bldg is at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004. This display will be available to the public through December 22nd. We encourage everyone to check out these design concepts online or in-person.

The Design Oversight Committee will deliberate over the winner of the design competition January 5-7 here in Washington, DC. Our formal announcement will coincide with our 10th Commission Meeting on January 25th. We will post more details on this as we get closer.

Please remember that even with these polished design concepts, we can’t build a memorial without donations. Every dollar donated will be matched by our founding sponsor, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. You can make this memorial a reality by making a donation to the Memorial Fund. Our WW1 veterans deserve a memorial. We can build it.

Diplomatic Advisory Board

The Commission continues to add former US Ambassadors to foreign countries to our Diplomatic Advisory Board. The role of the Diplomatic Advisory Board is to enhance outreach as we bring together new sponsors and partners for our commemorative activities, and to provide counsel, strategy and contacts in the countries where they served. We currently have seven members of the Board:

  • Ambassador Howard Leach, served in France
  • Ambassador Thomas Pickering, served in Russia
  • Ambassador James Blanchard, served in Canada
  • Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun, served in New Zealand
  • Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis, served in Hungary
  • Ambassador Francis Ricciardone, Jr, served in Turkey
  • Ambassador James Goodby, served in Finland

The first meeting of the DAB will be on January 13th here in DC.

Independence Seaport Museum USS Olympia

This week the Commission’s Executive Director Dan Dayton met with Mike Flynn of the Independence Seaport Museum, which is home to USS Olympia. Launched in 1892, the cruiser Olympia (C-6) is the oldest steel warship afloat in the world. She fought in the Spanish American War in 1898. During WWI, the Olympia served with anti-submarine escort convoys protecting shipping in the Atlantic from German U-boat attacks. Later, she was sent to Murmansk to engage the Bolsheviks in the newly formed USSR.

Following WWI- Olympia was the most significant commissioned US warship capable of making the journey, the Olympia was selected for the honor of bringing the Unknown Soldier home for interment in the United States. We are happy to form this relationship with the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, and we will work together with the Museum and the Pennsylvania WWI Centennial Committee to help tell the story of Olympia.

Public Affairs Report

Chris Isleib, Director of Communications for the Commission, announced:

  1. that a C-SPAN interview about the National WWI Memorial at Pershing Park with Commissioner Edwin Fountain will air on January 3 at 6:30 pm EST on C-SPAN 3.
  2. a call for stories for social media’s Stories of Service feature, which presents stories and photos of WWI veterans submitted by volunteers and enthusiasts. These veterans are often ancestors of the submitter and add a personal touch and a human face to the war. Email Chris Isleib with your stories.

Join our social media community! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter - invite your friends and family, too.

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, subscribe on the Commission's website here to be added to the distribution list.


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 First Soldier of Belgium - King Albert : I WHO DID WHAT IN WW1?

Published on Dec 14, 2015. King Albert I of Belgium was not was by any means no regular monarch. It was already unlikely that he became King in the first place and when he did, he tried everything he could to distance himself from King Leopold II who had reigned before him. After the outbreak of World war 1 he tried everything he could to keep up the morale on the Yser Front, the last part of Belgium not occupied by the Germans.

How Did Submarine Warfare Change During World War 1? : OUT OF THE TRENCHES

Published on Dec 12, 2015. Indy sits in the Chair of Wisdom again to answer your questions of WW1. This time we are talking about submarine warfare during the First World War.

Britain On The Run - The Siege of Kut Al Amara : THE GREAT WAR - Week 72

Published on Dec 10, 2015. Serbia is breaking under the pressure of the Central Power invasion and the last troops and civilians flee through the Alps. The final decision to evacuate Gallipoli is made and the British Indian Army gets under siege in the town of Kut Al Amara in Mesopotamia. The end of 1915 certainly looked grim for the Entente. The morale in Italy was also at a low point after the Fourth Battle of the Isonzo river ended like the three before.


The Great War 100 Years Ago

Presented by Mr. Mike Hanlon - WorldWar1.com

100 Years Ago in the Great War: Douglas Haig Appointed Commander-in-Chief, BEF 19 December 1915

HaigAt the end of the Great War and into the 20s, the reputation of Douglas Haig (1861-1928), commander-in-chief of the victorious British Army in Europe, was as high as Dwight Eisenhower's would be in 1945. No lesser figure than John J. Pershing called Haig the "man who won the war." Ardent pacifist and nurse Vera Brittain wrote of the inspiration Haig's Order of the Day gave her and everyone at her hospital in the dark hours of April 1918. Two hundred thousand of his former troops passed by his coffin in tribute when he died in 1928.

Then the legend was shattered. The memoirs and poems of the veterans started appearing, telling a different story from the official sources that had been used to shape public opinion about the war effort. The survivors of the trenches told of ill-considered strategy and mindless attritional war. David Lloyd George then skillfully applied what seemed to be the coup-degrâce in his War Memoirs, when the former war leader accused Haig of being "a second-rate commander" lacking "imagination and vision." Since then there has been no end to the critics of Douglas Haig. They focus especially on his conduct of the Battles of the Somme and Passchendaele.

There have been others, however, including some highly respected historians – who take exception to much of the negative commentary about Haig's leadership. They point out that the Somme and Passchendaele are not the whole story, that the eventually victorious 1918 campaign must also be considered. Historians will probably refight this great "Haig Debate" as long as the war is remembered. However, at the time of his appointment to supreme command he was, undoubtedly, the best qualified man to replace Sir John French, who had been found wanting as commander of the BEF during the first year and one-half of the Great War.

Some key points in Haig's career:

  • As a cavalry and staff officer he had distinguished himself in India, the Sudan Campaign, and the Boer War
  • He was the key military adviser to War Minister Sir Richard Haldane, during the post-Boer War modernization of the British Army, which included the planning for the deployment of an expeditionary force to Europe.
  • He was given the plum assignment of the Aldershot army base, which included command of the 1st and 2nd divisions, the I Corps of the BEF should it be deployed.
  • In the early actions his units successfully, if luckily, closed the gap and held the line at the First Battle of Ypres and had a minor success at Neuve Chappelle. The failure his First Army at the Battle of Loos was eventually (with Haig's help) laid on French's doorstep.

Other (not-necessarily flattering) pertinent issues:

  • He was highly esteemed by both King Edward VII and his son, King George V. His wife, Vivian, had also been a lady-in-waiting to the queen.
  • His only feasible rival for succeeding Field Marshal French, James Grierson, dropped dead in-transit to France in 1914.
  • He proved skillful in letting his disappointments in his superiors, French and War Minister Kitchener, be known at the highest levels, without suffering much backlash himself.

For More Information see:

Book: Haig: The Evolution of a Commander by Andrew Wiest

Website: Douglas Haig, Brief Bio


Upcoming Events

If you have an agenda item to include, please email Andrew McGreal by the Monday before the next Sync Call.

If you have an event for our calendar, please submit it here.

For a listing of events and exhibits, please visit the Commission Events Page


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