Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The World War One run

Last week a friend and I did a noontime run on the Mall in commemoration of the 100th year anniversary of America's entrance into WWI on April 6, 1917.  We started by chatting up another friend of mine outside my former workplace, who related to us the interesting story that he had a great-grandfather who won an Iron Cross as a German soldier in the Great War, and whose country showed its appreciation for his sacrifices by killing him and his family at a concentration camp during the next war due to his religion.  (Black Jack)

We ran by the Capitol where President Woodrow Wilson asked for and received from Congress a declaration of war against Germany, mere months after he won re-election largely on the slogan, He Kept Us Out of The War.  We stopped in at the Navy Memorial where I pulled up from its database the entry of my grandfather, a sailor in the Great War.  (An engine of the Great War)

We ran through Pershing Park downtown and stopped at General Pershing's statue there, depicting him at the Western Front as leader of the American Expeditionary Force.  Then we ran to the Ellipse, where we viewed the memorial honoring the 2d Division's service in the war, its men participating in the 3d Battle of the Aisne, Belleau Wood, the Chateau-Thierry campaign, St. Mihiel, the Meuse-Argonne offensive, the Aisne-Marne offensive and the occupation of the Rhine.  (The Indianhead Division)

Running past the World War II Memorial, we gave it a nod as that worldwide cataclysm was a direct result of the harsh peace imposed at the Treaty of Versailles which ended the War To End All Wars, with its unsustainable war reparations and its festering War Guilt clause imposed by the victors upon the vanquished.  Finally we ended our four-mile jaunt at the World War I Memorial on the Mall, honoring the District residents who served in World War One.  (Over There)

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