Learn about, re­mem­ber WWI

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

What is the sig­nif­i­cance of the date July 28, 1914? Which war did 116,708 Amer­i­can sol­diers die in? Which war is cur­rently rec­og­niz­ing its 100th an­niver­sary? Sadly, many Amer­i­cans do not know that the an­swer to th­ese ques­tions is World War I. July 28, 2014, marked the 100th an­niver­sary of the be­gin­ning of WWI — many Amer­i­cans are not aware of this fact.

At the U.S. World War I Cen­ten­nial Com­mis­sion, we strive to honor, ed­u­cate and com­mem­o­rate this war. We are do­ing this by build­ing a na­tional World War I mon­u­ment in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., and reach­ing out to Amer­i­cans to spread knowl­edge about the first world war. This is why I pro­pose that dur­ing this In­de­pen­dence Day, we take the time to re­flect on the his­tory of WWI, rather than sim­ply equat­ing the day to bar­be­cues or fire­works.

The Fourth of July is right around the cor­ner, so Amer­i­cans have some time to learn ba­sic in­for­ma­tion, visit a WWI me­mo­rial, learn about the new na­tional me­mo­rial or pay re­spects to those who fought. On In­de­pen­dence Day, take a break from the fes­tiv­i­ties to dis­cuss with fam­ily and friends facts and thoughts about the im­por­tance of this war. You can even re­search your fam­ily tree to see if any of your rel­a­tives fought in WWI. It is the lit­tle things that can start a larger con­ver­sa­tion.

If you don’t know where to start, the U.S. World War I Cen­ten­nial Com­mis­sion is a great place. The com­mis­sion has on­line re­sources filled with fac­tual in­for­ma­tion about the war and the new me­mo­rial site. Sarah Pfeiff, Hunt­ing­town

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