WW1 musicians Benjamin Sear (singing) and Bradford Conner on piano perform at the event

Conference kicks off interest in commemorating America's role in World War One

Posted on centenarynews.com on 18 August 2014
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Allison Finkelstein writes about a kickoff Centennial Trade show and conference which brought together people interested in commemorating America's involvement in World War 1.

On Saturday June 14, 2014, the United States World War I Centennial Commission hosted a kickoff Centennial Trade Show and Conference.

Held at the law offices of Jones Day in Washington D.C. just blocks from the US Capitol, the event brought together people and organisations interested in working with the Commission to commemorate the Centennial of the United States’ involvement with the war.

With more than eighty attendees, the event succeeded in building a network of people across the US who will collaborate with each other and the Commission in the coming years. 

After an introductory briefing from Commissioner Edwin Fountain, several groups gave short presentations discussing their plans for the Centennial.

Afterwards, a networking session encouraged attendees to talk to each other and make the connections that will form the foundation of the Centennial.

Many groups set up display booths about their projects and plans, filling the room overlooking the Capitol Dome with the ephemera of the First World War.

Blaine Pardoe (in blue shirt) at the League of WW1 Aviatian Historians stand.

Attendees included representatives from the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Saving Hallowed Ground, the World War I Memorial Inventory Project, the American Battle Monuments Commission, and many other organisations.

Artists, authors, performers, and living historians mingled with archivists, military historians, curators, and students.

Friendships were forged and ideas were exchanged as participants discussed their mutual interests and passion for commemorating the war.

A raffle with prizes such as books about the war and subscriptions to Fold3 raised money to support the work of the Commission.

The Centennial Trade Show and Conference succeeded in connecting Americans who are dedicated to commemorating the Centennial of the First World War.

The conference and show was a chance to get ideas for the commemoration.

The enthusiasm and inspiring ideas of the attendees are sure to result in a variety of creative commemorative events nationwide. With the guidance of United States World War I Centennial Commission, the US seems poised to commemorate the Centennial of the First World War through a grassroots effort that will honour the legacy of the First World War and educate Americans and others about the US’s role in the conflict.

General John J. Pershing’s declaration that “time will not dim the glory of their deeds” continues to remain true as the United States prepares to commemorate the Centennial of the First World War.

Allison Finkelstein helped organise the event.

Article uploaded by Mike Swain, deputy editor (features) Centenary News.