Mule Rearing pilots in dress uniforms The pilots doughboys with mules gas masks Riveters African American Soldiers 1 African American Officers

Welcome to the Georgia WWI Commission

"To Honor, Educate and Commemorate"

Georgia Veterans Day Association, INC. Presents 2018 Freedom Ball

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Freedom Ball


Book your tickets now! Click here to buy Freedom Ball tickets.
For further information and details regarding the Freedom Ball, please send email to FREEDOMBALL@georgiaveteransday.org

Please visit our website and FaceBook page for ongoing updates.

Schedule for the 2018 Veterans Day Events in Downtown Atlanta, Saturday, November 10th
Pre-Opening Ceremony before the Parade, 1045 hours
Veterans Day Parade, 1111 hours
Veterans Festival at Pemberton Place, 1230-1430 hours
Freedom Ball, Oceans Ballroom at the Georgia Aquarium, 1800-2200 hours

Yours in Service - Georgia Veterans Day Association, Inc.


The Courier Herald, 'Never too late to say thank you, gentlemen'


The Laurens County - Dublin community has come together to honor WW1 military dead that were originally left off this county’s war memorial. A new bronze plaque is being created that will incorporate the names of the twenty-one African Americans soldiers who were not included in the original plaque. This new bronze listing will be in alphabetical order and affixed to the vertical granite stone that is adjacent to the Laurens County Courthouse.

A poignant ceremony on September 26, 2018, on the courthouse steps, was attended by all segments of the Laurens County community. The names of these twenty-one African-American WWI soldiers were read, and those in attendance with the same last names were asked to raise their hands. Many hands went up.

"Photos courtesy of Dublin City Schools”

Newspaper clipping.  The Courier Herald.  'Program to honor African American WW1 Veterans' Newspaper clipping, The Courier Herald.  Page 2 of the newspaper article.
Image of the memorial.  A big tree stands in the middle of the monument that encircles it.A row of people sitting down observing the ceremony

ROTC display the colors at the front steps to the building while a crowd sit in front observing the ceremoniesA elderly man and a woman stand in front of the monument holding a red, white, and blue wreath


Aris Theatre events commemorate WWI

ARIS Remembers 1918 - 2018.  November 2 - 18, 2018 7 Stages Theatre Back Stage

The Aris Theatre presents “Not About Heroes,” a play by Stephen MacDonald, directed by Frank Miller, November 2-18 at 7 Stages Theatre Back Stage, 1105 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307.
Shows are Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. It is the story of a young English soldier, Wilfred Owen, sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital in June 1917 for treatment of shell shock after four months in the trenches in France. There he met Siegried Sasson, a well-known poet. His friendship with Sassoon inspired Owen to write what is thought of as the finest poetry to come out of World War I. Tickets available at www.aristheatre.org.


Berrien County Otranto and Doughboy Exhibit

Statue of the OTRANTO DOUGHBOY in front of the exhibit

In commemoration of the centennial of the wreck of the troop ship Otranto on Oct. 6, 1918, the Berrien County Historical Foundation has developed a new and permanent exhibit.  The display may now be viewed in the old Berrien County Courthouse in downtown Nashville, Ga.  The exhibit was produced completely by volunteers and private donations -- no tax dollars were utilized.  It will be dedicated during centennial ceremonies on Oct. 6, 2018 and will be open to the public hereafter.  For information contact Bryan Shaw, curator, Berrien Historical Foundation, P.O.Box 417, Nashville, Ga. 31639, e-mail onearmshaw@mchsi.com


WWI Display in atrium of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport hosts this striking display on the World War I Centennial in a prominent area of its main atrium from July 2018 through summer 2019. Prepared by the Georgia World War I Centennial Commission with the support of experts from the Atlanta History Center and the National Archives, the display includes uniform items and equipment worn by a Georgia soldier on the Western Front, the draft cards of prominent Georgians such as Ty Cobb and William Hartsfield, photographs of training bases in Georgia, original period Atlanta Journal newspapers, and other artifacts that tell the story of The Great War in Georgia.

The Georgia World War I Centennial Commission acknowledges with sincere appreciation the efforts of Kevin Edmiston of the Atlanta History Center and Nathan Jordan of the National Archives in preparing and installing this impressive display.

Picture fo the entire WW1 display at Hartsfield-Jackson International AirportTwo airport visitors observe the displayUS army issued wool jacket and German Picklehaube helmetPicture of standard US army issue eating utensils and dishesUS Army trench boots, foot powder box, shaving kit, first aid tinPicture of German Picklehaube helmet


History Day Grand Award Winner Visits Centennial Observances in France

Article and photos courtesy of the Thomasville Times-Enterprise and Georgia Humanities.

Trip of a lifetime: TCCHS’ Reese tours WWI sites in France
Staff report jacketnews@tcjackets.net 14 hrs ago

Brooklyn, with Doughboy re-enactors dressed in ww1 attireSummer is a time when many families go on vacation to popular destinations such as beaches, theme parks, and visiting relatives in other states. However, one Thomas County Central High School student had a family trip of a very different class, one that put them directly in the footsteps of history.

Senior Brooklyn Reese, her parents, and her chosen history teacher were treated to a once in a lifetime guided tour to some of France’s World War I historic battlefields and locations. Reese won the trip as part of the Georgia World War I Centennial Commission special award she earned during National History Day Georgia competition in April.

Reese’s one word to sum up her trip: amazing.

“This was the trip of a lifetime and went way above my expectations,” she said.

The Georgia World War I Centennial Commission, who sponsored the trip to commemorate the 100th anniversary of U.S. involvement in WWI, partnered with Georgia National History Day to award the trip to the high school student with the most deserving NHD project on a WWI topic.

Reese’s project was about the Hello Girls, U.S. Army Signal Corps female telephone operators and translators who were on the front lines in France during WWI.

“Through research on the Hello Girls of WWI, I learned a lot about WWI,” she said. “Through this trip, I was able to go and see the battlefields where the battles I researched took place. For example, I was able to see battlefields that were part of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, one in which the Hello Girls worked tirelessly.”

Her chosen teacher was Christine Patton, now retired, who taught Reese ninth grade World History and acted as her NHD advisor for four years.

“It was an honor to be chosen to accompany Brooklyn,” Patton said. “Being able to visit and see historical places with a student who has a real passion for history is truly a gift. I can’t think of a better retirement present!”

The trip was July 24-31. Their tour guide was Dr. George Cressman, a military historian, longtime NHD judge and president of the Camp Blanding Museum Association.

While in Paris, the group stayed at the Hotel Mercure, located a block away from the Eiffel Tower.

“We got to see the Eiffel Tower all lit up,” Reese recalled. “It was sparkling like glitter. It was beautiful.”

One of the Paris locations that stood out to Reese was Les Invalides, a World Wars museum that begins with the Franco-Prussian War and concludes with the end of World War II.

“The French consider the Franco-Prussian War as one of the major causes of WWI,” Reese said. “The museum is also home to Napoleon’s tomb. There’s a chapel with four smaller chapels off to the side that overlooks his tomb.”

Other trip stops in Paris included sites like the Arc de Triomph and Notre Dame Cathedral, but most of the trip’s itinerary was dedicated to visiting WWI museums, monuments and battlefields around Reims, northeast of Paris.

Reese enjoyed visiting the Reims cathedral, which was almost completely destroyed by the Germans during WWI. 

“Reims was a city they had taken and the cathedral was used as an infirmary,” she said. “We saw photos of what it looked like before the war and after it was bombarded. They are still redoing much of the stonework.”

A professed “foodie,” Reese also enjoyed sampling the foreign cuisine.

“Every night we went out and ate supper in the city,” she said. “The cuisine there is amazing. It is so, so good. We went to very nice restaurants and we had dessert every night. Crème brûlée was my favorite. It’s just so good. It’s creamy, and then you have the sugar on top that is crispy … it was my go to desert in France. I’ll only eat it there.”

The group’s tour also included attending a memorial ceremony at Croix Rouge farm, where the 167th Infantry from Alabama fought an obscure but significant battle.

“It was amazing to visit places like Croix Rouge,” Reese said. “I learned about the battle that took place there …. I saw the fields on which the battle was fought and what remained of the farmhouse. While there, we saw flag bearers who were descendants of those who fought there. It was truly awe-inspiring.

Brooklyn Reese and traveling party in France with GA National Guard officials

Another stop of significance was the Verdun area. An experience Patton will never forget was their visit to the Fort Douaumont Ossuary. It contains the bones of unidentified soldiers who died at the Battle of Verdun.

“Through small windows you can see the actual bones of over 130,000 soldiers,” she said.

Patton describes the trip as incredible and says the Georgia World War I Centennial Commission treated them to a true once in a lifetime experience. Her favorite aspect of the trip was having a private tour guide and driver.

“We were absolutely given the royal treatment,” Patton said. “Yes, we were tourists, but having historian Dr. George Cressman with us made our trip very different than a normal group tour. Every aspect of our trip was so well planned that all we had to do was learn, appreciate and enjoy ourselves.”

A trip highlight for both Reese and Patton was the WWI Commemoration Ceremony at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery.

“It was very heartwarming to see civilians and military personnel from both the U.S. and France come together to remember the triumph and tragedy of 100 years ago,” Patton recalls. “It was interesting to see soldiers dressed in WWI uniforms, witness a flyover by WWI bi-planes, and hear artillery fire from cannons used during the Great War.”

Reese calls the cemetery amazing and loved visiting it. She describes the ceremony as inspiring and breathtaking. She says the stories from the French and Americans — recounted by representatives of the French government and American military officers — made the ceremony.

“We listened to inspiring, impressive accounts of the war, some of which were in English and others were in French,” she said. “I witnessed two WWI era planes fly overhead, and then watched as people were called up for the wreath laying ceremony. At the flagpole in the center of the cemetery, the French flag flew beside the American flag. The ceremony put me in awe of the sacrifices made during WWI.”

Also, Reese had the opportunity to meet many military officials and dignitaries. For example, she conversed with the highest ranking commanders of the Georgia National Guard, executives from the U.S. Army Center for Military History, and the executive director of the American Battle Monuments Commission. She was able to speak with these delegates about her NHD project and her future plans.

brooklyn reese traveling party“It was interesting to talk to them, and I learned a lot from them as well,” she said.

It was amazing to meet the people she did while on her trip, Reese adds.

“One of the first people we met was Monique Seefried — director of the WWI centennial commission,” Reese said. “She was a major part in making the ceremony happen. It was very inspiring to meet her, to see all she has done and continues to do for the commission.”

Something that surprised Reese was how the scars of WWI are still visible in France.

“Lots of buildings there have bullet holes or shrapnel,” she said. “If you know what to look for, you can still see the trenches, but you can also see the shell hits. There’s grass growing, but you can still see the evidence and there are no trees. You can walk in the woods and still see the crater where an artillery shell hit. I didn’t expect it to be that scarred.”

This trip, the chance to see history up close, put the war’s human factor into perspective for Reese.

“Going over there really showed me the impact of war,” she said. “In class you get a lot of numbers and think a lot of men died, but when you go over there, you visit towns that were burned down or where families lost everyone. After visiting the cemeteries and seeing all those who are buried there, I truly saw that this war was horrible and that it killed so many young men.”

The experience also showed her the depth of human resilience.

“We (America) had a lot of men who died and we did send people over there, but for the French the war was in their literal backyard,” Reese said. “It was everywhere. It’s amazing that they bounced back from the war so quickly and then survived WWII. To see how the French are today and how they were during wartime, it shows you how war is terrible but how civilization can bounce back from it, which is really amazing.”


Georgia and the Great War

 Highlights from Russell Library Collections

Exhibition:  Georgia and the Great War

University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries

Russell Library Gallery

Hull Street, Athens, Ga.

August 2018 through January 10, 2019

Free and open to the public


Georgia World War I Centennial Commission Donors

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Delta Logo

Gulfstream Logo

Georgia Power

John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Foundation, Inc.

Numerous generous individuals


Georgia World War I Centennial Commission

Contact: georgia@worldwar1centennial.org

Commission Members

  • Mr. Scott Delius, Atlanta
  • Mr. Rick Elder, Sylvania
  • Mr. Samuel Friedman, Atlanta
  • Mr. Thomas Lacy, Peachtree City (vice-chair)
  • Dr. John Morrow, Athens
  • Dr. Billy Wells, Dahlonega (Chair)

Executive Director:

Dr. Thomas H. Jackson, Jr., University System of Georgia

Federal Commissioner for Georgia

Dr. Monique Seefried, Atlanta

Commission Associates

  • Dr. Lamar Veatch, University of North Georgia
  • Mr. Keith Antonia, University of North Georgia


Next Meeting:

Date to be determined

Future Meetings:

None schedule at this time.

"Pershing" Donors

$5 Million +

Founding Sponsor
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The Lilly Endowment