Special Veterans’ Day Edition

November 6, 2018
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TREA “The Enlisted Association” Washington Update
TREA “The Enlisted Association” Washington Update
Special Veterans’ Day Edition
In just a few days we will once again honor our nation’s veterans on Veterans’ Day. TREA National President Phil Hilinski will head the TREA delegation at the ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery.

Veterans’ Day this year is especially significant because it is the 100thanniversary of the World War I armistice which officially ended the war. This edition of the TREA Weekly Update is a special Veterans’ Day issue with particular emphasis on the World War 1 centennial. Because of that this issue will be a little longer than we normally send out. But if veterans don’t remember and honor other veterans, who will?

In addition, each year many companies offer special discounts to all veterans on Veterans’ Day and we provide information on those discounts below.

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World War I at a Glance
Most American’s are probably much more familiar with World War II than with World War I. But many historians believe that had World War I not occurred there would not have been World War II.

The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I was about 40 million. Estimates range from 15 to 19 million deaths and about 23 million wounded military personnel, ranking it among the deadliest conflicts in human history and the deadliest up to that time.

It was seen as a European conflict and people in the U.S. did not want to go to war. In fact, President Wilson campaigned on keeping the U.S. out of the war.

Nonetheless the U.S. entered the war in April of 2017 after it had been raging for about 2 ½ years.

In the U.S. 4,700,000 men and women served in uniform. There were 375,000 U.S. casualties and 116,516 deaths from both combat and disease.

The war ended with the armistice that was signed at the 11th hour of the 11thday of the 11th month of 1918, which is why we celebrate Veterans’ Day every year on November 11.

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Bells of Peace to ring out November 11

Bell Tolling Time Is Here!

By Betsy Anderson
Program Coordinator, Bells of Peace, United States World War One Centennial Commission

Over 10,000 people and organizations have signed up for the Bells of Peace project, promising to toll bells on November 11, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. local time to commemorate the Centennial of the Armistice and the service and sacrifice of the nation’s veterans. Bells will be tolled 21 times, at 5 second intervals, across the nation and wherever Americans gather to honor their veterans.

The Washington National Cathedral will lead off the national bell tolling at 11:00 a.m. during an interfaith sacred service there. The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is the Honorary Bell of Peace and will stand in silent witness while the Centennial Bell in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall tolls in honor of our veterans.

Bells will toll throughout the nation. The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York; the Grace Cathedral in Charleston, South Carolina; the Trinity Cathedral in Little Rock, Arkansas will toll along with bells in churches from coast to coast. Bells installed on trucks will toll in Loveland, Colorado. Bells will toll at overseas cemeteries where American service members are buried.

In Boston, ringers will ring a full peal of three hours at the Old North Church.

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Sounds of Remembrance to commemorate the end of WWI with Taps
By Jari Villanueva
Taps for Veterans organization

On November 11, 2018, at precisely 11:00 am (local times), buglers and trumpeters from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War with a worldwide sounding of Taps and The Last Post, sponsored by Taps for Veterans.

Each performer will sound their call at a location of their choosing. Those locations will include WWI monuments, memorials, public squares, churches, and Veterans Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies.

As of late October more than 300 buglers from 39 states and 5 countries had already signed up to participate and organizers hope to eventually have more than 1000 participants registered.

The videos they submit of their sounding of Taps or The Last Post on November 11 will also be posted on the website and all participants will receive a commemorative patch from Taps for Veterans following the event. In addition one participant, whose name will be chosen from the registered list, will receive an original World War One era bugle.

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Centennial World War I Commemoration Effort Gears Up
(Note: This is a press release from four years ago announcing the beginning of the World War I commemoration.)

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2014 – It was called The Great War even as it was going on. It engulfed the world, and the world is still feeling its effects.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, and U.S. officials are gearing up to mark the centennial.

In his day job, Robert J. Dalessandro is the director of the U.S. Army Center of Military History at Fort Lesley J. McNair here. He also is the acting chairman of the World War I Centennial Commission.

The Great War began in July 1914 with the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. This triggered an interconnecting network of alliances to spark mobilization, bringing in the empires of Europe. England, France and Russia lined up against Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire.

A generation of men died in battle on the fields of France. The Somme, Verdun, Ypres and Meuse-Argonne became killing grounds. On the Eastern Front, millions of Germans, Austrians and Russians battled. Overall, about 16.5 million people were killed in the war.

At first, the United States stayed out of it. In fact, when President Woodrow Wilson ran for re-election in 1916, his campaign slogan was “He kept us out of war.”

But on April 7, 1917, the United States declared war on Germany and the other Central Powers and raised a military force of more than 4 million men. The United States lost 116,516 service members in World War I. Another 205,690 were wounded.

While the United States didn’t enter the war until 1917, the U.S. commemoration commission is beginning its mission of education now to provide Americans some context for the epochal war.

You can’t just drop into World War I in April of ’17 without understanding the road to war,” Dalessandro said in an interview. “It was complex politically and internationally, and Americans today need to know what Americans then thought about the war.”

This summer begins the centennial, Dalessandro said, calling the archduke’s assassination “the Fort Sumter of World War I,” referring to the site of the U.S. Civil War’s first engagement.

Congress chartered the commission to encourage private organizations and state and local governments to organize activities commemorating the centennial. The panel will coordinate activities throughout the United States tied to the centennial and will serve as a clearinghouse for the dissemination of plans and events, he said. While its charter covers the United States, the commission also is looking at international events, and will mark those appropriately, he added.

We want to lead efforts that raise awareness, that encourage a spectrum of organizations to plan programs and develop an education program targeting America’s youth,” Dalessandro said.

The education aspect may be the commission’s most important challenge, he added. “We need to wake up the interest of a new generation of Americans on the effects of World War I,” he said.

Americans today need to know that World War I changed everything for America, Dalessandro said. In the short term, he explained, the experience of the slaughter of the Western Front turned America away from entangling alliances in Europe. But the lesson for leaders, he added, was 180 degrees from that. “They learned we have to be engaged in Europe and involved in business,” he said.

While the Civil War saw a draft, Dalessandro said, World War I saw the first universal draft.

The first question is if you have a universal draft for men, what do you do with African-American men?” he said. African-American leaders were determined that black men fight as combat soldiers and fight in integrated units. They also pushed for black officers, Dalessandro said. “Part of that happened,” he added.

For many African-Americans, he noted, the experience in France was their first taste of an environment without Jim Crow laws. “There, they are looked on as equals and that is a revelatory experience,” he said.

World War I was the first time masses of American women entered the workforce, Dalessandro said. There were nurses, “yeomanettes,” telephone operators, Red Cross workers, “Doughnut Dollies” and women working in factories. And at the end of the war, women had the vote.

In the Civil War, you have Irish and German immigrants in great numbers in the Army,” Dalessandro said. “But in World War I, you have Italian-Americans, Eastern Europeans, Jews, large numbers of Russians, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks — soldiers from ethnic groups that have emigrated, and it’s a quick road to citizenship.”

The question was whether these men would fight together — whether they would consider themselves Americans, he added. And the answer was yes, he said.

Some historians call The Great War just Act 1 of a greater war that includes World War II and the Cold War. Fascism grew out of the experiences in the war. Revolution took hold in Russia, and the Soviet Union was born. The Versailles Peace Treaty set the stage for Act 2 in 1939.

The Battle of Meuse-Argonne was the largest American battle up to that point. More than 500,000 doughboys and Marines fought, and many died, on the fields and forests of France. They faced not only bullets and artillery, but also poison gas, tanks and planes. And yet, the American impression of the war is “Snoopy vs. the Red Baron” or movies such as “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Paths of Glory” or “Wings,” Dalessandro said.

This is our biggest challenge,” he added, noting that a scene at the end of a recent British movie shows two soldiers going over the top in the Somme in 1916. “There isn’t a person in the United Kingdom who doesn’t know these guys are not coming back,” he said. “We [in America] don’t have a national consciousness like that.”

World War I set the stage for the rest of the 20th century. It destroyed four empires: the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire. It also set the stage for current conditions in the Middle East by the Balfour Declaration, which called for a Jewish homeland in the region and by the victors drawing the borders of new countries.

One hundred years on, World War I continues to cast a shadow, Dalessandro said. The nation needs to learn from it, he added, and the commemoration is a place to start.

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In Flanders Fields
One of the most enduring and haunting pieces of literature to come out of WWI was this poem by John McCrae. It is why today poppies are associated with Veterans’ Day.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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Lots of Special Deals for Veterans on Veterans’ Day
Once again this year restaurants and other businesses will be honoring veterans with special offers on or around Veterans’ Day. The following link from Military.com gives you the list of restaurants plus there are links to other types if businesses that also have special offers.

https://www.military.com/veterans-day/restaurants-veterans-day-military-discounts.html?ESRC=eb_181105.nl

In case you haven’t taken advantage of these offers in the past, we would advise you that going to a restaurant during off hours will get you in much more quickly. If you go during usual eating hours for lunch or dinner be prepared to stand in a (long) line. Obviously, some restaurants are more popular than others. Also, read the offers carefully. Some are only good during particular times of the day, some have a limited menu that you can choose from, some are not for a free meal but a free dessert or something else and some are actually good on a different day than Veteran’s Day.

As far as whether you have to prove you are a veteran, that will also vary from place to place. You may want to call ahead if you are not sure if you need proof, and what proof they will find acceptable.

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