The South Texas WWI Centennial Commemoration coordination meeting was held at the Army Medical Museum at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio on March 3, with over 25 people in attendance at both the morning and afternoon sessions. If you missed the meeting, you can find the presentation and other resources on the Texas World War I Centennial Commemoration shared documents site (Google Drive; drive.texasworldwar1centennial.org).
The program focused on identifying projects that are in development for Texas, highlighting resources available, and to brainstorming new ideas. The “grassroots” nature of the Centennial commemoration effort was an underlying theme. The WWI Centennial is unfunded and attendees were encouraged to “make it happen” in their communities and organizations by identifying partners and local sponsors for commemoration projects. Attendees also brainstormed ideas for new initiatives. Some of the most innovative ideas included a mobile trench systems (mounted on a commercial trailer) and a WWI food festival (leveraging both renditions of rations eaten in the war zones and “home front” foods of the era). Large scale speculative projects were also identified, such as establishment of WWI monuments to the 36th andn90th Divisions in France and a proposal to organize a battalion of WWI doughboy reenactors (possibly using ROTC students) to participate the 100th anniversary allied Armistice Day parade on November 11, 2018 in London.
Speakers included Maj. Gen. Alfred Valenzuela, USA (Ret). Commissioner from the National World War I Centennial Commission. Retired Ft Sam Houston Museum Direct and author John Manguso presented highlights of San Antonio during the Great War from his book. Jim Hodgson, Executive Director of the Fort Worth Aviation Museum (and a key organizer of the Texas WWICC team) provided an overview of Texas in WWI and the broad impact of the war. The Texas Historical Commission (THC) was represented by various members of their team, including April Garner who reviewed progress on the Texas WWI Mobile Tour app, William McWhorter (part of the THC Task Force for WWI), and Chris Florance (Director of Communications). Other guests included representatives from the Texas Military Forces Museum, Texas A&M Cushing Memorial Library, Battleship Texas, Institute of Texan Cultures, the Bullock Museum, Historic Fort Clark, Brooks City Base, and numerous other organizations. A follow on meeting is planned for late spring or early summer, date and location to be determined.
The following communication and collaboration tools were heighted during the meeting:
- Shared documents site (Google Drive; drive.texasworldwar1centennial.org). Google Drive is our common shared site for planning documents, contact lists, and other resources.
- Presentations from Thursday’s meeting are posted on file marked South Texas Conference 3-3-16.
- Anyone can access the contents of the Google Drive account. To add or change anything, you’ll need a Google account (it’s free; if you use gmail you already have access to Google Drive).
- If you have information or articles for the web site or Facebook page, please post them to the Submit Articles Here file or send to email@example.com with the subject line ARTICLE SUBMSSION.
- Texas WWI Centennial web site (http://www.texasworldwar1centennial.org/). The Texas site is also embedded in the National WWICC web site.
- Forums on the web site (http://www.texasworldwar1centennial.org/forums/). The web site includes a FORUM to encourage communications and sharing of ideas and coordination of activities.
- The RESOURCES tab is designed to highlight museums, exhibits, resources, historic sites, organizations, etc. If you want your organization specifically listed here, please email your information and logo.
- Texas WWI Centennial eNewsletter. Texas coordinator Jim Hodgson sends a periodic email newsletter. If we have your email address you will be in the distribution list. If you would like to subscribe, register on the website or email us.
- Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TEXAS.WWI.CENTENNIAL). Check in and Like Us on Facebook.
- National WWI Centennial Commission web site. http://www.worldwar1centennial.org/