|American W.W. I Cemeteries and French Gratitude (American Legion Monthly, 1936)|
Eighteen years after the last shot was fired in World War I, Americans collectively wondered, as they began to think about all the empty chairs that were setting at so many family dinner tables, "Do the French care about all that we sacrificed? Do they still remember that we were there?" In response to this question, an American veteran who remained behind in France, submitted the attached article to "The American Legion Monthly" and answered with a resounding "Yes" on all six pages:
"...I can assure you that the real France, the France of a thousand and one villages in which we were billeted; the France of Lorraine peasants, of Picardy craftsmen, of Burgundy winegrowers - remembers, with gratitude, the A.E.F. and its contribution to the Allied victory."
The article is accompanied by eight photographs of assembled Frenchmen decorating American grave sites.
Click here to read about the foreign-born soldiers who served in the American Army of the First World War.
Remembrance Day at the Cenotaph (American Legion Monthly, 1936)
"This chill November morning the Cenotaph is surrounded by serried masses of men. Up and down Whitehall as far as one can see are thousands and thousands packed in so tightly they cannot move...Suddenly from St. James Park comes the sound of a gun. They used to say it was impossible for a British crowd to be quiet. That was before Armistice Day. For the hum of London dies at the sound of the gun...Somewhere in the distance a horse paws the ground and neighs. A flag flaps in the breeze. Never such a silence as this. A King and his people pause sixty seconds in solemn celebration for the dead. It is the Great Hush."
How the W.W. I Unknown Soldier was Selected (Collier's Magazine, 1945)
A printable piece from a 1945 COLLIER'S MAGAZINE outlining how Sergeant Edward F. Younger (died August 6, 1942) selected which of the four unidentified Doughboys set before him would be interred in the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington Cemetery.
General Pershing On The W.W. I Cemeteries & Monuments of Europe (American Legion Monthly 1927)
Ten years after Wilson's declaration of war U.S. General John J. Pershing (1860 – 1948)wrote this article concerning the American W.W. I monuments and cemeteries scattered throughout France, Belgium, Italy and Britain.
U.S. Cemeteries: A Flag for Every Grave (American Legion Weekly, 1920)
An article that appeared in an American veterans magazine concerning the pageantry that would mark the Memorial Day of 1920 at each of the primary A.E.F. cemeteries in France.
"More than 127,000 American soldiers, sailors and Marines gave up their lives during the war...Total battle deaths in the A.E.F. killed in action and died of wounds were 50,329 including casualties in the Siberian force. Deaths from disease including the A.E.F. and men in the home cantonments, were 58,837...No American field of honor will be without it's Memorial Day ceremony, no American grave without its flag and its flowers..."
An interesting article that was written at a time it was believed that the A.E.F. cemeteries were going to be closed and the interred repatriated. There is a photograph of an early prototype headstone that was later rejected in favor of a stone cross; references are made to Suresnes Cemetery in Paris.
Finding the Graves of American Aviators (Literary Digest, 1919)
The difficult task of wandering the war-torn countryside of Europe in search of fallen World War I American aviators fell to a U.S. Army captain named E.W. Zinn. A combat pilot himself, Zinn had roamed France, Belgium and Germany interviewing the local population to see what they knew of American crash sites:
"Many times he has come upon a grave with a rude cross on which was scrawled :
'Unidentified Americn Aviator' or 'Two Unidentified American Aviators'"
"Captain Zinn has found that in a great many cases American fliers were buried either by the Germans or by civilians with no mark of identification left on them."
Click here to read some statistical data about the American Doughboys of the First World War.