1918 was the most significant year of the Great War for the U.S. Texans and Texas-based military organizations were engaged in action against the enemy. Thousands of soldiers were training at bases around Texas. The home-front was fully mobilized. The War to End All Wars came to an end on Armistice Day – November 11, 1918 – and ultimately became Veteran’s Day as we know it today. Here’s the three-point action plan for the Texas World War I Centennial Commemoration Association in 2018;
Commemorate in 2018. Our goal is to encourage, assist, endorse, and publicize Texas WWI Commemoration activities of all types. Our belief is that no action is too small – from exhibits to decorating veteran graves; from parades to planting poppies. The State of Texas has not identified or funded a singular, unified, State-wide WWI Centennial event. Centennial commemorations will be local and based on the inspiration and initiative of local leaders, organizations, and communities.
Renewed outreach. Heightened media attention about the WWI Centennial means more public awareness. We want to reach new partners who can be catalysts for centennial activities in their communities. We will offer a 2018 Planning and Coordination Conference in early March (tentatively, March 2nd) to help new organizers and continue to offer ideas for enhancing existing centennial events. To reach new participants, we will need your help. We’re asking in advance that you reach out to new attendees — either personally or by forwarding our TXWWICC communications to them. You know the people who are influencers and action-takers, we don’t.
Remember our grass-roots spirit. Our initial mission to communicate, coordinate, and commemorate remains unchanged. We are focused on acting as advisors and as a central information resource for those motivated to develop WWI Centennial commemorations. We have “off-the-shelf” commemoration ideas that can be put into action by virtually any community or organization. We maintain planning and teaching resources on our web site, a common calendar of events, and use social media channels to publicize Texas WWI Centennial events.
Texans have never waited for others to take action. We own the Centennial and will press hard commemorate the role of Texas and Texans in the Great War until the conclusion of the Centennial in June 2019. Many of you engaged with the WWI Centennial Commemoration in 2017 – thank you for your leadership in your regions and areas of expertise. We welcome your comments at WWICC.TX@gmail.com.
(Photo: San Mihiel American Cemetery)