November 7, 2018 Newsletter

Friday, November 9 Program — Joe Fricker Songburst Quartet


Friday, November 16 Program


 Dan Simkins, Avonworth Historical Society:

“Experiences of the American  ‘Doughboy’ during World War I”


Just over 100 years ago, World War I ended with the signing of the “Armistice”, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of November, 1918. Sparked by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on June 28, 1914, World War I, then known as “The Great War”, began and had been described as the “war to end all wars“.  


According to Wikipedia, “an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilians died as a direct result of the war, while it is also considered a contributing factor in  millions of deaths worldwide. Military losses were exacerbated by new technological and industrial developments and the tactical stalemate caused by grueling trench warfare. It was one of the deadliest conflicts in history and precipitated major political changes, including the Revolutions of 1917 – 1923, in many of the nations involved. Unresolved rivalries at the end of the conflict contributed to the start of the Second World War about twenty years later”.


Amidst considerable heretofore reluctance by the American public, there were a number of events that changed American attitudes about the War, to wit: Germany’s submarine warfare that had been torpedoing American commercial and military shipping; the sinking of the Lusitania and the resulting deaths of 1,198 of its 1,959 passengers; and the German attempt to convince Mexico to attack the United States. The American public finally advocated at large, and the U.S. entered World War I in April 1917.


 That April, there were just 100,000 men in the Regular Army, but by the end of the war, American forces stood at five million. It was that surge in manpower that the Allies needed to end the war.  By the following spring in 1918, American troops had arrived in France in large numbers. Tasked to join British and French troops against the Germans, Americans joined in the Allied effort to roll back German advances. Among other campaigns, there was the Meuse River/Argonne Forest skirmish, commencing on September 26th. It was extraordinarily bloody.  Hard fought by still fresh American troops – green horns, doughboys – the losses were heavy. Germany finally succumbed in the Argonne Forest, and World War I was over, and signed into extinction on November 11th. More than 53,000 men had been killed during that brief period, and more than 200,000 were wounded.
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In memory of the WW1 Armistice Centennial, Dan Simkins will discuss what life was like at the front and the challenges soldiers faced in the first modern war. His primary focus will be on the experiences of the U.S. Doughboy. Dan was a WW1 re-enactor and member of the Great War Association (GWA) for 5 years and has served on two historical society boards, as a past president of the Lawrenceville Historical Society and the current Events Coordinator for the Avonworth Historical Society.


Upcoming Events


Thursday November 21 Community Service World Vision 9:00


November 23. 2018 – THANKSGIVING – NO MEETING


November 30, 2018 – Todd Rossman: Hosanna Mission Projects


December, 2018 – Jim Leyland, Former Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers




December 21, 2018 – Colleen McKerley: Light of Life Rescue Mission


December 28, 2018 – END OF THE YEAR – NO MEETING



Something to Remember


Have you ever wondered why Veterans Day is on the 11th and doesn’t change? WWI ended on the 11th day of the 11th month on the 11th hour.

Today I saw a man selling poppies stop a lady and asked if he could re-position her poppy. While doing so,  he told that lady she should wear the poppy on her right side; the red represents all those who gave their lives, the black represents the mourning of those who didn’t have their loved ones return home, and the green leaf represents the grass and crops growing and future property after the war destroyed so much. The leaf should be positioned at 11:00 o’clock to represent the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the time World War I formally ended. He was worried that younger generations wouldn’t understand this and his generation wouldn’t be around for much longer to teach them. We must remember those from our current wars, too!

For those that do not know, the eleventh day of the eleventh month is Veterans Day, I copied this from someone else. Please do the same to pass this knowledge on to those who don’t know the meaning and who care enough to know