Author: 100 years ago, the war Waldo saw

‘War taught us what War is. Most people did not know; we thought it was
splendid courage, which it was, the defense of national honor, and a struggle
for Freedom. That the war was also the most hideous, dirty, and agonizing
experience of mankind, humanity did not know. If, in 1914, the German people
had known, a German public opinion would not have permitted its Government to
set the world on fire.

So, the first step to prevent War is for everybody to acquire an opinion
about War. Instruction can come through reading — hard reading. Here in America
we’d better begin right off to read certain grimly informing books… There
are dozens of them. We might start in with Will Irwin’s “The Next War”,
Barbusse’s "Under Fire”, Philip Gibbs’s “Now It Can Be Told
and his novel “The Middle of the Road”, Boyd’s ”Through the
“, Cobb’s ”The Paths of Glory“ and, of course, everything
Herbert Adams Gibbons has to say.

War books make us cringe. They are horrid.
War is horrid. It is sublime spiritual endurance, but it is also dirt, and
stink, and madness, and agony — and graves. We are "tired of war
books”? Well, our soldiers were “tired” of being killed — but
they kept on being killed. Surely we can do as much for their precious memory
as to read how they lived and died? Such reading will light in our hearts a
flaming determination that there shall be no more unnecessary killing! Out of
every ten persons who read these books, probably six will say: “Stop the
Stupidity: Stop futile dying! Stop War!”.

Public Opinion, is the only thing that can
ever really stop War. Public opinion can move mountains.’

After WW1,  Margaret Deland,
American novelist.

              “On parade, the Pershing
smile became a proverb. It broke a thousand cameras”

‘What the world admires
in General Pershing is his modesty. He has been a
soldier without swagger. He won battles, but he did not boast or brag about them.
Some people think that he had too little praise for others; if so, he expected
no praise himself. He did not flatter the doughboys. At times, perhaps, he was
inclined to be hard on them. If,
however, he was strict, it was only because he knew that he was risking
their lives, and he did not want those lives to be lightly thrown away. Any man
who honestly looks death in the face must be stern when he stands at

But at mess — yes, and
on parade — the Pershing smile became a proverb. It broke a thousand cameras.
If Pershing can smile, it is because his conscience is at ease.
transparent is his honesty that he has never had anything to conceal, except
his plans from the enemy, who, more than once, were taken by surprise when he

The big thing about
this big man is the simple fact that he hates fuss. When the
reporters try to interview him, he sits tongue-tied. He cannot explain
things to the press. At the art of publicity and advertisement, he is a
mere tyro. And some boosters — to whom any quiet fellow is a boob — have
undervalued Pershing. They are wrong.

But when Pershing says
“yes,” it is yes. And his “no"
is no. He settles large issues with short words. And throughout his brilliant
career, he has known his place.

There are officers — not so far, some of
them from the
United States — who would profit a good deal by General Pershing’s example of

WW1, Philip W. Wilson (1875–1956) American correspondent for the Daily News
– Photo: September 17 1919, General Pershing, saluting and smiling, during the
Victory Parade in Washington

Note: The Victory parade in Washington took place September
17 1919
, on the 132th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of the United
States (although not planned as such a celebration).

“The reception in Washington was very
enthusiastic, and every available space along Pennsylvania Avenue, down which
the parade passed, was crowded to the utmost with people eager to see the
troops who had remained longest abroad and who had been most often in the
fight. Flowers were showered in the path of the regiment as it passed along the
avenue. Newspapers both at the capital and in New York declared the two parades
to have been the greatest of the kind in the history of the nation.” Source

YouTube showing the Sept 17 1919 Victory Parade in
+ Several photos @ the Library of CongressGeneral Pershing’s
diary entry for Sept 17 1919

‘As the officers entered with the word “ATTEN SHUN” – We hopped to position and stood as if dumb.’

U.S. Infantry, 1798-1919
“ – Illustration: 1919, “331st field
artillery, United States army, 1917-1919”

(Atten shun! = attention!)

                                                       “Still standing in lonely majesty”

“It is the most imposing building I have ever seen. It stands there towering above that ruined and desolate
city like some grief stricken mother who has lost all her children.”

Mary Pretlow, YMCA worker visiting Reims, France – Hampton Roads Chronicles

“The cathedral is still standing in lonely majesty
above the devastated town… and rests on solid and unshakeable
foundations. It still reveals the beautiful proportions and
noble harmony of its portals and towers… Once a work of love, enthusiasm,
and faith, yesterday the target of hatred and contempt, today the object of
astonishment and admiration.”

WW1 – Reims
on Fire

Photo 1: Sunday, September
14 1919
, Journée du Souvenir (Remembrance Day) in Reims, on the parvis of the
La Contemporaine – Photo 2: “The Remains of the Cathedral” was
taken in summer 1919, by an American soldier visiting Reims.

                          September 15 1919, FAREWELL to Blue-Horizon

“And so, leaving their blue-horizon uniforms,
the survivors became civilians again…”

Comment sortir
de la guerre
– Photo :
September 15 1919, France, two French soldiers celebrate their demobilization – Archives

Note: “blue-horizon” was the color of the Fench soldiers’ uniforms

“A wooden leg is without a doubt a very bad
handicap to any man, but we contend a wooden head is worse.”

Saturday, September 13 1919 – “You Said It Bo!”, The America, a daily paper published on the high seas –  National WWI Museum and
Photo: 1919, “The trick is to show them it’s not the end of the world" – American veterans with
nurses, all smiling for the camera – U/PortraitsofWar
on Reddit

                                                 Over The Top… for YOU!

This awesome photo belongs to Mrs Terry Jo Riddle Garbus, member of the Facebook group “Old
Photographs Of The World”
. It shows a WW1 American soldier en repos with his sweetheart — About this photo Mrs Garbus writes:
“my maternal great grandparents during WWI” – Later, the lovebirds had 12
children together! (click on the photo to get to Mrs Garbus’ Facebook post)

“He kissed me full on the lips”

On this day in 1919, nearly a year after
WWI ended, General Pershing led a victory parade down New York
City’s Fifth Avenue. During the
parade, Kitty Dalton, a Knight of Columbus Flower Girl, presented a bouquet to the General and he paused to kiss
her. “Can he kiss?” she was asked “I’d say
he can”
Kitty dished.”He kissed me full on the lips… Nobody ever kissed me as General Pershing did.”

The American Past, NYC in Focus –
The New York Times – Photo: September 10 1919, New York City, Kitty Dalton and
General Pershing after the kiss – The New York Times, Library of Congress

More about this beautiful day in
New York

‘New York lived probably the last
chapter in its history of great military spectacles growing out of the war.

The Mayor had declared the day a national
holiday, and the whole population was out to witness the passing of the marching
hosts. All along 5th Avenue from 107th

Street to Washington Square
they stood, many deep, kept in place by 7,000 policemen; hotels and private
buildings filled specially constructed stands with closely packed spectators;
every window was crowded,
and the surging throngs early occupied every point of
vantage. From all these points, as well as from the reviewing stand and the seats
that flanked it from 85th to 74th Street, the cheers
swelled into wild outbursts of greetings, shoutings of Pershing’s name, the ringing
of bells, the rattle of raucous crickets, a formidable body of sound undertoned
by the pealing of church bells and supplemented visually by great showers of
confetti, long, trailing paper streamers, and clouds of paper snow. A group of
army airplanes from Mineola flew up and down above the long, white avenue,
echoing to the rythmical tread of the soldiers, who wore upon their heads the flat
trench helmets of the fighting force in France, and whose closely aligned bayonets
gleamed like silver rain.

whole route was gay and colorful with flags and bunting. Most colorful, most
picturesque of all, was the way Pershing, the members of his staff, officers
and men of lesser rank, all the long line of marchers, were pelted with
. At times Pershing rode over stretches of asphalt carpeted with laurel.
At others roses and simpler flowers rained about him. Again some enthusiast,
high above him, would toss a single blossom, perhaps to fall almost at his
feet, perhaps to drop far behind him.

where the crowds were least dense, Pershing was kept at almost continual salute
by the tributes volleyed at him from both sides of the avenue.”

The New York Times – Great YouTube: General Pershing and the 1st Division parading down Fifth Avenue in New York City on September
10, 1919

                                                          “I dont like any sargeant”

“I dont like any sargent but this one particular. The first day out he kept sayin “Prepare to mount” and then “Mount”.  Finally I
went up to him and told him that as far as I was concerned he could
cut that stuff for I was always prepared to do what I was told even though it was
the middle of the night. He said, Fine, then I was probably prepared to
scrub pans all Sunday.”

Text & illustration: WW1 – Dere
Mable: Love letters of a Rookie


sort of cheering a New York crowd does when it wants to cheer”

September 8 1919, New York City – The return of General Pershing from France:

Though I had been informed that the reception would be a
most cordial affair, I was frankly overwhelmed at its size and enthusiasm.
”  John J. Pershing Diary. Set 5, July
31, 1919-July 11, 1920

The New York Times reports:

‘‘The cheering was the sort of cheering a New York crowd does
when it wants to cheer. Buildings all the way through the downtown district
were crowded with watchers in the windows on the roofs and even along cornice
ledges. Almost as soon as the General appeared, paper showers
started descending the windows. For a time the air was really beclouded with
the beats and streamers and once along Lafayette Street the shower became genuinely
uncomfortable when some inventive genius started raining excelsior instead of

The New York Times – Photo: At the end of WW1, New York City, victory parade with “paper
showers” –  Yesteryear Once More 

about General Pershing’s return: Great YouTube “General
Pershing’s Return”
Several photos showing the return of
General Pershing, NYC
General Pershing’s Welcome in New York City, 1919