Category: neverforgotten

                                              …

                                            
   

“waiting, waiting, waiting”

   

“Why we’re here:
we’re here because we can’t
get home. The ocean is too wide, If it was narrow as the
Rhine, We’d swim to the other side. So we’re waiting, waiting waiting
until the ocean’s dry, then we’ll hike back to God’s country to Mother and
mince pie.”

June 1919, American
soldiers in France & Germany, waiting to go home – The Amaroc News: The Daily Newspaper of the
American Forces in Germany
  – Photo: spring 1919, American soldiers
in Brest, France, waiting to sail home –Tom Caulley

                                       …

                                      

“Leave
me unknown where long sweet grasses stir”

‘I cannot love these trim and ordered graves,

Set in straight rows, each with its monument,

So heavily defying earth’s intent.

Leave me unknown where long sweet grasses stir,

With flowers and little wild feet overrun;

Where the spring wind shall be my messenger,

Voicing the radiant freedom I have won.

Let the wide planet be my sepulcher—

My casual ministrants her storm and sun.’

1919, “In a Cemetery” by Marion Couthouy Smith – Photo:
WW1, France, “left unknown where long sweet grasses stir” – Anzac Portal

Memorial Day 1919, Suresne American Cemetery, France

    “Pour votre demain, ils ont donné leur auj…

    “Pour votre demain, ils ont donné
leur aujourd’hui – For your tomorrow, they gave their today”

Speaking of the high respect of the French people
for Memorial Day, an American volunteer writes: “For
three days men, women and children gathered flowers and
foliage for wreaths to decorate the American graves on May 30. All over France, the day was
set apart, and even isolated resting-places of American soldiers
were remembered.” Source

Photo: Memorial day 1919, French people and children bringing flowers to decorate the American graves – Ministère de la Culture, France

Note: 2 years later, in 1921, same high respect:  Photos
showing children decorating American graves all over France –
“Memorial Day in France – All American Tombs Decorated by French Children”
 

I’m so glad that I’m home;

I’m so glad that I’m home;

And I never will roam

Away from dad and mom’s door,

The place that I’ve been longing for.

There’s a million like me,

Who are back from over the sea;

They’ve all got the same

Melody on the brain

And it’s mighty sweet to me;

“Gee but I’m glad that I’m home again with you”

Zeph fitz-Gerald

‘All I ask is that the mothers whose sons are …

‘All I ask is that the mothers whose sons
are buried in France, the unknown mothers, and the mothers whose boys are buried
at the bottom of the sea, will get a chance to have their sorrow wiped out, as I did when I
stood at my son’s grave at the top of Romagne Cemetery and looked over
the Argonne Valley. My grief was crushing me, and I felt that sorrow
drop from me, and I came back a better woman, and I hope if we get this
bill passed it will be a cementing of the nations of the Old World with the
new.’

May 14 1928, Mrs. GALLAGHER, grieving mother representing a group lobbying
Congress for an official government-funded pilgrimage to visit their loved
ones’ graves in Europe, which the government authorized on March 2, 1929.

BILL TO ENABLE THE MOTHERS AND UNMARRIED
WIDOWS  OF THE DECEASED SOLDIERS,
SAILORS, AND MARINES OF THE AMERICAN FORCES INTERRED IN THE CEMETERIES OF
EUROPE TO MAKE A PILGRIMAGE TO THESE CEMETERIES
 

Photo: American
cemetery in France, Mrs. Ring sent
three sons off to WW1. The youngest of the three, Frank, was killed in action in
October 1918 and was buried in France. In the 1930s, as referred above, the US
government paid the travel expenses for “Gold Star Mothers” to visit
the American cemeteries in France. Mrs. Ring made the trip to Frank’s
grave in August, 1933 — Tennessee State Library & Archives

May 6 1919 – ‘flags were flying gaily an…

May 6 1919 – ‘flags were flying gaily and
bright flowers were strewn everywhere, but the war worn, travel-worn faces of the
gallant veterans, the dented helmets, and the numerous wound stripes told a
story that subdued the cheers, for the people could see and know that these men
have come forth from an inferno.’

 

“The End of the Great War” by Paul R. Spitzzeri –
Photo: Parade of the 77th Division, May 6, 1919 – NYC Municipal
Archives.

Must-read
“Never in Finer Company: The Men of the Great War’s Lost Battalion”: historian Edward
G. Lengel
tells
the larger than life story of the 77th Division’s Lost
Battalion, cut off and surrounded  by the Germans in the French Argonne Forest. “One of the most heroic events in American military history”

Note: The parade of the 77th Division on May 6, 1919, was memorable not only because of the superb
ceremony but also because of the vast multitude that witnessed it. The route of
march was from Washington Square up Fifth Avenue to 110th Street, and it is
estimated that 1,000,000 persons witnessed the parade, and half a
million more had distant glimpses of it from the side streets – Source

Great YouTube: May 6 1919 – Parade of the
Lost Battalion -77th Division- NYC

                                              …

                                                             “NO BEER, NO DRILLS”

When the call to arms was
sounded,

                                                                                                  We bid farewell to civil life and said farewell to home.                                                                           We knew not where we were going, nor what we had to face.                                                           We were freighted around in box-cars, we were shoved from
place to place.

We slept in lousy billets, we stood and ate in the rain,
We were knee-deep in the mud. We stood all kinds of pain.
Sometimes our mess was slim, sometimes there was none at all.
Sometimes in the heat of battle we saw our buddies fall.

But now the war is ended, it seems too good to be true…

Commanders at home: keep us in your memories, forget not our payday,                                      Forgive us if we outstay our pass and come back
AWOL,                                                     Remember we are the A. E. F. and that all war is —!

Lead us not into the kitchen and make us stand K. P.,                                                                      Help us to forgive all mess sergeants, wherever they may
be.                                                             We pray you to forgive our manners,                                                                                                     Forget that we were S. O. L., and forgive us if we swear.

NO
BEER,
NO DRILLS,
COMPRI?
M. P.

Spring
1919, WW1 American soldiers in Treveray, France, Memoirs of France and the
Eighty-eighth Division
– Photo: March 1919, a troopship arrives in New
York harbor with its troops all chanting, “We Want Beer.” On one of
the welcome vessels, a sympathetic brass band answers the chant with a
rendition of “How Dry I Am.”  Source

                                              …

                                                                  “We are a little sad”

“Well
our work is a joy, but we are a little sad when we are told that we mustn’t
count on more than twenty thousand dollars a month. It is hard, for the need is
now – Unless we start real execution before the summer, nothing will be done
till next year, and it is impossible to see how these people can get through
another winter. All they ask is to be helped to help themselves, even after the
terrific struggle of the last four years.”

March 10 1919, Blerancourt, France – Letter from Anne Morgan to her mother – @ Anne
Morgan

Note: Anne
Morgan was an American philanthropist who funded the American Committee for Devastated France, an organization providing relief efforts to
French civilians
during and after WW1. She also used her family’s wealth and
connections to bring attention to the women’s suffrage movement and the plight
of immigrant workers.

Photo: Miss Morgan (sitting) and a friend in Blérancourt,
France, the headquarter of the American Committee for Devastated France. La Contemporaine

Here, great photos of Anne Morgan and her team of women, at work in France, during and after WW1.

                                            “I…

                                            “It was a bit less bad because we were friends”

‘We only knew that we were young and
life was just a bit more bright because we were friends.

The world moves on, and each of us has known the day when life
seemed bitter, bad, and grey. And yet it was a bit less bad because we were friends.

Let others sing of rich romance, of love’s undying flame — Alone
I raise my voice to say that I am certain, whatever share of deep, true love the future
sends me; I never shall forget the girl whom I knew as a friend.’

1919,  American Poetry Magazine, Volumes 1-2

Photo: WW1 American soldiers and Red
Cross nurses – @JenniferChronicles. Here, Jennifer’s post
about the rare WW1 photo album she found & bought in a flea market. She
writes “It is beyond coincidence that this
precious album, relegated to a junk table at a dusty flea market, made its way
into my hands. It is valuable and precious and it feels like the people in the
pictures chose me to be its caretaker.”

Jennifer Chronicles  Blog
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‘On Christmas day all troops who were not on s…

‘On
Christmas day all troops who were not on special
duty attended church services conducted by our chaplains in the local churches.
We attempted to add some extra frills to the meal with the scanty supplies on
hand in token of the day. But no turkey nor chicken graced the menu, and the
victuals were served on the mess plate in the customary army manner and eaten
in the snow. One thing we had to be thankful
for:  the day was declared a holiday and we did not have to
drill!’

Christmas day 1918 in Rengsdorf, GermanyHistory of the 126th
Infantry in the War with Germany
— Photo: Christmas day 1918 in Rengsdorf, Troops of the
126th Infantry, eating their Christmas dinner at Rengsdorf, Germany.  Dawn of the Red
Arrow
& US National Archives.