Category: neverforgotten

                                     “Even the…

                                     “Even the little children seemed to
realize what it meant”

“September 12 1918  – We advanced almost steadily and we were
within a couple of kilometers of
Thiaucourt.

Great craters caused by the enemy’s mines were being filled in.
Thousands of shovels were at work. Culverts
were being rebuilt. Trenches were filled in or
bridged over. And even at this early date a passable road was beginning to take
shape.
It was a gigantic task, accomplished in no
time. As the workmen and American engineers moved
forward they left a road behind them where nothing had existed before and did their job with 100% efficiency, and they did it with a smile.

We crawled along and finally gained the other
side of No Man’s Land. Our ambulances were the first motor transportation to cross this road,
finally pulling into Thiaucourt at about 4 o’clock.

The streets were lined with the rejoicing inhabitants,
as their four years of bondage
over French Lorraine
was restored. They wrung our hands with tears streaming down their cheeks, even the little children seemed to
realize what it meant.”

During the St Mihiel Drive, American surgeon and ambulances following the American troops who liberated
the city of Thiaucourt in Lorraine. Wade in Sanitary! –  Photo: September 1918, St Mihiel sector, American automobile driver with little French children whose city has just been liberated. La Contemporaine

Note: Capturing Thiaucourt was a big deal because of its railroad capabilities and it being the main
supply route of the German forces in to the St Mihiel salient.
Today, this part of France remembers with this article
and photos
of the Americans liberating Thiaucourt, published in the Republicain Lorrain.

It fills our brain with sorrow, It fills our …

It fills our brain with sorrow,
It fills our heart with pain—

But, above the wreck and the ruin,
Tall and straight as a lance
The tower is looming proudly—

It stands erect in its Glory,
Shattered and tattered and torn,

To tell to the World the story,
To tell to the still Unborn,
The Tale of the Hate of the Vandal—

He who in wilful envy,
He who in vulgar spite,
Is robbing the world of its treasures

He asks for a place “In the Light”,
Drive him back to the Darkness—

The Darkness from whence he came
There to nourish his Malice,
To wallow there in his Shame.“

—Fontenoy, Aisne, 1918, "American soldier’s verse

                     ‘The spire of the cathedr…

                     ‘The
spire of the cathedral, a wonderful thing of delicate lines and love’

‘Sometimes
we would cross the river and look back at the cathedral, high and beautiful
above the huddle of old, old houses on the quayside, with a faint light on its
pinnacle and buttresses and immense blackness beyond them.

“Those
builders of France loved their work,” said Palmer. “There was always war about
the walls of this cathedral, but they went on with it, stone by stone, without
hurry.”

We
stood there in a long silence, many times, and out of those little streets
below the cathedral of Amiens came the spirit of history to teach us the
nobility and the brutality of men, and their incurable folly, and their
patience with tyranny.

“When is it all going to end, Palmer, old man?”

“The war, or the folly of men?”

“The war. This cursed war. This bloody war.”

“Something will
break one day, on our side or the other. Those who hold out longest and have
the best reserves of man-power.”’

That day came
indeed on August 8 1918, a
black day of the German Army’, when for the first time, the coalition of
Allied nations fought under one strategic command, using tanks and air power to
push forward.

Text: 1918, British
reporter Philip Gibbs in Amiens – Now It Can Be Told – Photo: Amiens, a view of the
Cathedral from the river.

Amiens100
See all the international commemoration events in France @The United States WW1
Centennial Commission,
also on Facebook & Twitter

‘July 5th 1918 – We are told that a numb…

‘July 5th 1918 – We are told that a number of Frenchmen in Faverolles crawled
out beyond the wire the night of the 3rd, returning 20min later. When the morning of the Fourth
dawned No Man’s Land was dotted with small American flags!’

American ambulance driver in Boursonne, Aisne, France
The Compensations of War – Photo: 1918, France, French soldiers carrying
American flags

July 4th 1918, Paris – It was a grand da…

July 4th 1918, Paris – It was a grand day, full
of heart-warming feelings. Up near the grand stand the crowd was condensed into
one huge nosegay of black bobbing heads. On the
grandstand famous personages made their appearance, ambassadors and ministers,
the great of earth. They were greeted with cheers, but not with a real ovation.
They were not the stars in this cast! Who cares for diplomats, phrase-makers,
phrase-breakers, swivel-chair-nobles when the real heroes, the French and the American poilus, the saviors of Paris, pass by? Certainly
not the Parisians.

And so they then turned their
gaze, thousands on thousands of brown Gallic eyes upon the exact point
down the street, where the American soldiers would
arrive. And suddenly a shout – not exactly a shout; rather, a big happy
hurrah—burst simultaneously from thousands of grateful happy hearts.

Here they come! Les Américains! Here they come! Strong emotion swept
the crowd like a breeze: Vive I’Amérique! Vive les Américains! And all
that excited sea of souls laughed and cried and shouted and sobbed and rocked
in glad exultation over these fine, big, clean garçons who had fought so
splendidly, so desperately, so victoriously beside their own brave poilus.

The Saturday Evening Post, Vol 191 – Photos: Independence Day 1918
in Paris. La Contemporaine. More photos of this beautiful day @ Gallica

                                              …

                                                         ‘moving forward all the time

‘France is one continuous camp and the troops are coming
in all the time and every one moves forward all the time, and no one gets to
the rear except the wounded – So
you see that the whole movement is constantly towards Berlin. Everything
is moving fine over here so far and I think we have Fritz on the run, thanks to
the good work of the people back home – Here,
my people are doing their bit to win the war, they sure make good soldiers.’

Letter of James William Alston, American First Lieutenant in the US 372nd
Infantry,
an all-black regiment – African American Soldiers in World War
I @ DPLA – Photo: July 4th 1918, Independence Day Parade in Lignieres, Meuse, France. La Contemporaine, France.

                                              …

                                                      July 4th 1918, Walking Strong

“The Fourth of July found me in Chaumont. The French people there never missed an opportunity to
show their pleasure at having us in their midst.“ General Pershing.

And a nice note from Clemenceau:

“General Pershing; The American troops who took part in the
Fourth of July ceremony
on the Avenue President
Wilson made a deep impression all over Paris. On this holiday celebrated with
such sincerity by all our Allies, the splendid appearance of your soldiers
sparked not only our enthusiasm but our absolute confidence as well. Please, transmit
to your troops, with my compliments, the expression of my true admiration. “Clemenceau.””

My Experiences In The World War –Photo: July 4th 1918, General Pershing and French officials in Chaumont. More photos of these beautiful day @ 100 ans en Haute Marne.

                                              …

                                                          

“Last
night was a perfect inferno”

“These
officers coming in wounded, terribly, terribly, wounded, rarely complain. They
have endured their hardships and suffering gloriously. My heart has bled by the
things I have seen.”

June 1918, Belleau Wood, American Surgeon J.T. Boone’s letter to his wife. He received the Medal of Honor for his incessant work and heroism in WW1, especially during the Belleau Wood battle.  In one instance,
on June 25 1918, Dr. Boone
followed the attack of one battalion against enemy positions in Belleau Wood, establishing advanced dressing
stations under continuous shelling. More about Dr. Boone @ the Library of Congress –  Illustration: June 1918, US Marine regimental aid station in Belleau Wood, France – militar.org.ua

 

                                         “Litt…

                                         “Little
refugee clings to her dog through thick and thin”

“Last
week, when the fleeing multitudes came to Paris from their
burning homes, we kept nurses and aids night and day at the
railroad stations, which are not very safe places at present, as they
are the objectives of the air
raids. Train loads crowded with refugees and wounded come in all night. Bless the thoughtful friends at home who supply me with money to use in individual relief. I meet so many pitiful little
families who have left everything behind. Many arrive carrying nothing but their
pets. One old woman brought her goat, which she said behaved better on the train than the children,
another hugged a rabbit, dogs and cats of course were plentiful and even little
pigs could be found, tucked under protecting arms, saved from the Boche stomach. Their calm
courage is marvelous, not a complaint was heard, not a tear shed.”

Spring 1918, E. Ashe, American Red Cross lady in France “Intimate Letters from France” – Photo: June
1918
, Paris, beautiful photo taken by Hine, Lewis Wickes. More here about this photo – And, here,
these photos show the true American Spirit and the formidable American humanitarian
work accomplished during WW1.– Library of Congress

                                              …

                                                                       Dad

1918, Meuse, France – Dad and Major Ruby D. Garrett with “Commanding
Field Officers of 42nd Div.” – National World War 1 Museum and Memorial