Author: 100 years ago, the war Waldo saw

 ““Where are our latrines?“ “But, Monsie…

 ““Where are our latrines?“

“But, Monsieur le Commandant, we haven’t any.”

“Well,
what are the men to use?“

"Why?!?” exclaimed the French Mayor,
while a look of surprise came over his face that such a question should be
asked, “why?!? You can use the streets!!!”

In
fact, the inhabitants did use the streets, the
whole family in most every case; and the few
toilets in town were under lock and key.”

American officer in France – Doughboy War:
The American Expeditionary Force in World War I
– Photo:1918, France, American
medical officer using the latrine. The National WW1 Memorial & Museum

“I don’t believe in God because of…

“I don’t believe in God because of the cold. I’ve seen men become corpses bit by bit, just simply with cold. If there
was a God of goodness, there wouldn’t be any cold. You can’t get away from
that.”

WW1
French soldier’s memoir – Le Feu – Photo: WW1 French soldiers trying to keep
warm around a fire. La Contemporaine, France.

“November 17 1918 – Lots of refugees an…

“November 17 1918 –
Lots of refugees and prisoners
coming back. Roads are getting better so we go toward
Germany. Stay in Stenay. Good billet in house.”

American ambulance driver in the Meuse sector
See Google map – Diary of Hugo Gruenberg Ambulance Company 167
attached to the Rainbow Division – Photo: November 16 1918, French and
British prisoners released from Germany and marching toward their army headquarters,
in Meuse, France. US Signal Corps

Note: on November 17, 1918, the Allied troops began the
march into Germany on the heels of the retreating Germans. The American Army
moved through French Lorraine, Luxemburg and a corner of Belgium toward
Koblenz on the Rhine. Everywhere, until German soil was reached, the Allied
soldiers were received as liberators and Allied flags sprang all over
the place.

                                              …

                                                       We survived Verdun

WW1 French soldiers, Verdun survivors, celebrating life with their small menagerie and drinks of pinard.

“Saturday November 16 1918 – French cook…

“Saturday November 16 1918 – French cook
arrives – Get breakfast & lunch. On
the move this morning to Flize.”

American ambulance driver in Montigny-sur-Vence
in the Ardennes, France,
Weber State University – Photo: 1918, France, American
soldiers & cook enjoying freshly baked bread prepared by their ami, the French cook/baker. @ gacvie.fr

       “Suddenly, everything stopped and folks…

      
“Suddenly, everything
stopped and folks around the country started dancing in the Streets.”

“The joy was real – This
Armistice spirit was more than just
fortitude: it was a fundamental optimism that enabled people to rebuild, and to
live and love again. The war had made life and love even more precious than
they were before.”

November 1918, France – Soldiers, Volume 45, Issue 11 Department
of the Army and “Peace at Last: A Portrait of Armistice Day, 11
November 1918″

– Image: November 1918, Meuse sector, France, dancing in the street.

                      ‘Seeing the American fla…

                      ‘Seeing the American flag in France is beautiful and tender
as a flower’

WW1, France, Patrick Jay
Hurley
(born in the Choctaw Nation, Indian
Territory
), Major General, statesman, and diplomat. He
was the United States Secretary of War from
1929 to 1933. – Photo: November 16 1918 – American soldiers saluting their awesome flags in the Meuse sector, France, US Signal Corps

“Friday November 15 1918 – On duty with the me…

“Friday November 15 1918 – On duty with the
med. We had apple pies! Yum yum first time in years!”

American ambulance driver’s diary in Charleville-Mézières, France – Arthur B Eddy’s diary – Orleans County Department of History
Photo: 1918, American soldiers enjoying yummy apple pies – Hoboken Historical Museum

                                              …

                                                   
“We’re here because we’re here”

“We would have given anything we
owned to have been one of that great delirious mob that surged over Paris on Armistice
Day;
and even though we had been sent to the Arctic Circle, we wanted to have
our share in the shouting.
But the days, deadly and monotonous, followed one another with ever gloomy
regularity, and there was no relief, no word, no news of any kind. In the general hilarity over peace,
we were forgotten. After all, who had time in these world stirring days to
think of an insignificant regiment performing in a fantastic Arctic side show?

We could not get information straight from home. We were sore. But why fret?
The best answer was the philosophic "We’re here because we’re here” and he went on building blockhouses  to prepare for
the inevitable winter campaign which began about the time of the Armistice Day,
which in North Russia did not mean cease firing.”

November
1918, after the Armistice, American soldier, member of the “Polar Bears Expedition” in North Russia – Photo: 1918, North Russia, American soldier’s outpost in a snow-covered forest near the Vologda
Railroad Front. See Map.  Text and photo: “The History of the
American Expedition Fighting the Bolsheviki”

Note: @ the
US WW1 Centennial Commission, a great article about the US Army “Polar Bears” in North
Russia.

“Thusday November 14 1918 – Maybe moving to Ge…

“Thusday
November 14 1918 – Maybe moving to Germany. On loading detail as usual. Go to
church where Lul has our beds made in rooms – Cook bacon, spuds, and willy. Friends
come over and stay a while. Good fire in room. Will sleep good.”

American ambulance drive in
the Meuse sector, France – Diary of Happy  Gruenberg of
Ambulance Company 167,  serving with the Rainbow Division –Photo: 1918, American soldiers relaxing by the fireside. Illinois University Library