WWI Commission releases action plan for commemorating Centennial

| July 13, 2017
Rams Head

The Maryland World War I Centennial Commission has presented Governor Larry Hogan with an action plan to commemorate the 100th anniversary of WWI and Maryland’s role in the war. The plan includes more than two dozen recommendations and actions in five broad areas including development and fundraising, history and education, memorials and sites, social media and technology, and partnerships and engagement to highlight the historic significance of “The Great War” for the duration of the centennial.

The presentation of the plan at the Maryland State House today coincided with the public display of an original World War I 112th Machine Gun Battalion (29th Division) flag donated to the Maryland State Archives by the family of Millard Tydings. Tydings was a former State Senator, Speaker of the House, and Member of Congress who served in the U.S. Army during World War I. A reproduction of the flag will be on display next to the World War I plaque in the State House for the duration of the centennial commemoration.

“World War I forever changed our state, as it forever changed the world,” said Governor Hogan. “Today, I am incredibly pleased to accept the World War I Centennial Commission’s action report which will help us to provide proper recognition to our veterans, and to preserve our history as a state and as a nation.”

In addition to lives lost, 62,000 Marylanders fought in World War I. Among those, 11,000 were African American soldiers. Two thousand women served in the US Army Nurse Corps and 1,551 women served in the US Navy Nurse Corps at military base hospitals overseas that were provided by Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland, and the American Red Cross.

Click here to read the full report. Recommendations include:

  • Partnering with the Western Front Association in sponsoring a statewide, two-day symposium to provide public access to the history of the war and to highlight the actions of Marylanders during the War.
  • Supporting the National History Day Contest and encouraging Maryland students to participate by securing a monetary prize to be awarded to a Maryland student selected as the winning entry for a theme focused on World War I.
  • Collaborating with Maryland arts organizations to display photographs and artwork reflective of people, places, and events from the War including captions and interpretive materials to explain the importance and history of the items.
  • Partnering with the Maryland Historic Trust and the Maryland Military Monuments Commission to assist with the evaluation and restoration of the 65 World War I monuments throughout Maryland and developing a book providing information on each of these Maryland’s monuments.
  • Creating an online database of all of the names listed on the monuments and memorials in Maryland to allow people to search for family members or namesakes who served.
  • Creating a robust website with links to local, state, national, and international organizations as well as primary and secondary sources of materials to assist people in locating information on ancestors, notable people, and significant WWI events.

The Commission will also engage and partner with heritage organizations such as the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center, and the Jewish Museum of Maryland to help highlight the diversity of Maryland’s role in the War.

The World War I Centennial Commission was established by an Executive Order signed by Governor Larry Hogan on November 11, 2015 (Executive Order 01.01.2015.27). The Commission consists of eleven members and an executive director who have backgrounds, connections with, or interest in the military, veterans, and the history of World War I. The Governor established the Commission to recognize the 100th Anniversary of World War I and the role of Marylanders in the War. The Executive Order required the Commission to submit an Action Plan to the Governor by June 30, 2017. For a full list of World War I monuments throughout the state click here, to learn more about the Commission please visit: http://goci.maryland.gov/wwicommission/.

Rams Head

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