Category: smile

              “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

“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

‘And so we laughed our way through those years’

‘Certainly the conditions were challenging
in France, but “did we care? Not a bit! We
were young, we kept falling in and out of love, we had got our fingers into the
War pie … And so we laughed our way through those years. We laughed at one another, we laughed at our
cars, we laughed at our passengers, and most important of all, we laughed at

Remembering WW1, being young and in the
thick of things, Rose Isabella Leared, member of the WAACFighting Different Wars: Experience, Memory, and the First World
War in Britain
– Photo: WW1, WAAC ladies – More photos of these amazing ladies here & here

                                                    On the doctor’s orders!

Photo: WW1, American doctor watching his patients sipping
champagne al fresco. Courtesy of the family of
Dr. Ross, via The Burlington Free Press


Dr. Ross, from Vermont,
served as flight surgeon in France with the 17th Aero Squadron.

Laughter saves us

‘We were born, to see, to know, to take hold, to laugh
away fear.

Laughter saves us.

Still more than half of us is buried in the quicksands.

Still we suffer.

But comes the
moment when we take a square look at ourselves,

And seeing how
absurd our antics are, laugh and are healed …

And so, perhaps,
the laughing animal shall save creation.’

WW1, anti-war poet
James Oppenheim’s ode to laughter, the ultimate savior of
Humanity – Photo: WW1 German aviators dancing and laughing.

                                                       “Everyone had his blue mondays”

‘Everyone had his blue Mondays and sometimes Tuesdays, Wednesdays,
and Thursdays. If today your buddy was sitting on the edge of his bunk looking melancholic,
it was your duty to hustle him back to his old self by fair means or foul. For
tomorrow it might be your turn to sink into the shadows, and it would be his
turn to convince you that all was not lost after all…’

1919, American soldier’s experience in France during WW1 – The Literary
Digest Volume 62 – Photo: American soldier forcing a smile: “Gimme a little smile, will ya?

                                                                 “Not one bit scared”

‘The coaster rose in the air like a movieland
magic carpet, some wonderful bird and without fuss or fanfare swooped
slowly above the amusement-park.’

The Flight of the Roller Coaster – Selected Poems of Raymond Souster – Photo: 1919, American
soldiers riding a roller coaster probably at the “Pike”, an Amusement Zone in Long
Beach, California
.  Photo: Janaree Nore

“Ritchie wears boxing gloves, and Miss Grant does not. She is
smiling as she lands a punch on his jaw.”

Late 1918,
Willie Ritchie and a lady engaged in a playful boxing stance – Text and photo: Washington State Historical

Note: Willie Ritchie was the boxing lightweight king of the world from 1912 to 1914. When the United States
entered WW1, he joined the army and served as an athletic instructor. Boxing in
San Francisco


“He could shave a squirrel on a flying trapeze”

‘Most company barbers were really very affable good fellows. Our barber was the most popular enlisted man in the outfit and
we believed he could shave a squirrel on a flying trapeze if the occasion
demanded it!’

February 1919 – The Journeyman
– Photo: WW1, France, smiling US Army company barber & soldier – US National Archives

                            “And the President’s smile, everyone is talking about his smile”

‘December 14 1918 – the cri de coeur is unmistakably
there. The Journal du Peuple says: “No man since Jesus has so
strongly embodied the hope of the world. For the peasant, as for the man of
letters, for the workman and the artist this name represents divine

He is starting to drive down the Champs Elysees through the
soldiers and the enormous crowds, and the flags… .

President himself, very fine. His silk hat, waved only slightly. And the
President’s smile, everyone is talking about his smile.

was the first to say in 1914, “we are making the war against war.”
They had practically stopped believing it, but now … there are thousands of
in Paris today who again believe the war has been fought for
something bigger than national preservation…’

Shepley Sergeant,
American journalist and writer in Paris – Shadow-shapes:
The Journal of a Wounded Woman, October 1918-May 1919
– Photo : December 14
1918, American president Wilson, waving his hat with a big smile, enters Paris with French
president Poincaré

sitting beside him. @ Gallica, France.

Note: a great YouTube video
showing Wilson’s arrival in Paris. The date is wrong though, Wilson arrived in
Paris on December 14th 1918.