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Welcome to the Georgia WWI Commission

"To Honor, Educate and Commemorate"

Georgia Tech Lorraine students develop mobile app for use touring WWI battle sites

Three students studying mobile applications and services at Georgia Tech Lorraine have created an app to be used as a guide while touring historic French World War I battle sites.  Their web platform allows those managing World War I-related websites, historians, or relatives of veterans of the battles to upload content, which is moderated and then transferred to the mobile app.  Visitors to the battle site use the app to discover hidden history as they travel the Lorraine region. 

The students, Alice Barbe, Soufiane Karrakchou and Taha Raouz, studied at Georgia Tech's Lorraine campus during spring 2016.  As part of a course taught by professor Matthew Sanders, they created the app, dubbed "WWI'nLorraine." It gives visitors travelling the area notifications when they are near a WWI site and allows them to view content about the site directly in the app.  The app also contains curated tours providing a more organized trip through the area.

The Georgia Tech campus opened in Metz, France in 1990 and offers year-round undergraduate, masters and Ph.D. programs in electrical and computer engineering, computer science and mechanical engineering.  With the centennial of the United States involvement in World War I being observed over the next two years, professor Matthew Sanders, working with Dr. Monique Seefried of Atlanta, a member of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, encouraged the students to help tell the story of American troops in the region.  Inspired by the lack of accessible content regarding more remote WWI sites in Lorraine, the students' early focus was on the Cote de Chatillon, where the Georgia Machine Gun battalion from Macon distinguished itself under the orders of Douglas MacArthur in October 1918.

App users can discover history that "is often hidden in plain sight behind trees on the side of a winding country road, or in some small village," says Alice Barbe.  Large historical sites such as Verdun or Douaumont tell the bigger picture, but the smaller stories and sites give special insight into the nature of the war and its long-lasting implications, she says.

The mobile app is still in prototype phase, but can be viewed below:

The web platform for content sharing is at http://wwin-lorraine.net23.net/  (please be patient, as the prototype takes time to load).

The Georgia World War I Centennial Commission is proud to showcase the work of students from our state's University System, and hopes that in so doing it will enable them further to develop this mobile app at other sites in Lorraine, France and even the many Georgia World War I installations and memorials.


$200,000 Giveaway to Rescue Ailing WW1 Memorials

In a program launched in July, 2016 The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library have announced a $200,000 matching grant challenge offering awards for up to 100 local projects around the country.

Kenneth Clarke, President and CEO of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library stated, "The words 'Lest We Forget' appear on World War I memorials across the nation. Sadly, however, many of these memorials are in need of conservation and restoration, in this, their centennial year."

To get one of the matching grants, applicants need to A) identify local World War I memorials; B) put together a proposal for their memorial in distress; C) submit their project for consideration; D) raise local funds for a match of up to $2,000 per project.

The details of the program are found on the project website at ww1cc.org/100Memorials

The "100 CITIES / 100 MEMORIALS" program is particularly well-suited for community-service projects hosted by veteran group posts, historical/cultural/community organizations, faith groups, school programs, scout troops, local sports teams, and motivated citizens.

Dan Dayton, Executive Director of the US WWI Centennial Commission, commented:
"The program is designed to foster a sense of heritage in local communities and to recognize local stories & people who were involved in the war. This $200,000 initiative also creates a way for community members to participate in the national World War I Centennial that begins in 2017". 

To qualify for a matching grant, a project proposal needs to be submitted by November 11, 2016.  Memorials need to be located in the 50 states or US territories, and the preservation work must be completed (or have been completed) between January 1, 2014 and November 11, 2018.

This veteran honoring program has been endorsed and adopted via a national executive resolution of the American Legion, who itself was formed right after WWI. 

For more information about the program go to WW1CC.org/100memorials

Information on the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission can be found at www.ww1cc.org

Information about the Pritzker Military Museum and Library can be found at www.pritzkermilitary.org/WW1 

Contact and more information:

Chris Isleib

Director of Public Affairs

U.S. World War One Centennial Commission
Email: public.affairs@worldwar1centennial.org



"This Memorial Day, let's Build a WW1 Memorial."

By Joe Weishaar, Lead Designer
The National World War One Memorial in Pershing Park, Washington D.C.

     As many Americans around the country take a moment to relax with friends and family this Memorial Day, I hope they take a moment to pause over their grills and swimming pools to ponder what the holiday really represents. 

     It's been my absolute pleasure the last 10 months to be involved in what I often consider an overwhelming project; designing the National World War One Memorial in Washington, D.C. I must admit that before I began I hadn't given much thought to WWI. 

     For anyone who didn't know that there isn't already a National WWI Memorial in D.C., I can't say I blame you. It was a war that happened nearly two generations before I was born and events like WWII and the Great Depression greatly overshadowed learning about it while I was in school. Yet here we are, and next year is the 100th anniversary of American troops heading over to Europe.  Our capital is lacking a memorial to what is commonly referred to as “The Great War” and “the war to end all wars.”  It was a war that changed the face of our industry, our technology and our place in the world. 

     As a 26 year old, I don't yet fully know what I can do to make change and progress in this country, but I do know that 100 years ago young Americans just like me were about to head off to fight in WWI, and they fought for the ideals that would go on to define the American century. 

     When I submitted a design to this competition nearly a year ago I only had a glimmer of hope that it would progress to this stage. However, I did so with the idea that it was important to do all I could to honor the men and women who once defended freedom and self-determination for their towns, states, and country. Not only has it been a life changing experience to stand up in Washington and tell people about my ideas for a memorial park, but now it is a humbling honor to find myself at the head of this great undertaking. The memorial design in progress is a tribute to our humanity and a marker of courageous acts in the most harrowing of circumstances. 

     Just like enlistment was in the Great War, this is a volunteer effort. Time and donations are coming solely from the citizens of this country with no tax dollars or government spending. 100 years ago more than 116,000 Americans lost their lives defending their small towns like the one in Arkansas that I came from. It is time they had a proper memorial in our nation's capital. The building of this memorial sends a signal, a signal to your families, children and grandchildren that courage, honor and sacrifice still mean something. It is a message to our current and future veterans that they will not be forgotten when their time comes. 

     As Memorial Day approaches this year I hope you keep the soldiers of WWI in your thoughts. It is time for us to give back for the sacrifices they made almost 100 years ago. With this project, we need this same sense of service from every American to make it happen and I hope you will support me in this effort.  Examples of my design and opportunities to give can be found at www.ww1cc.org/memorial.


Atlanta Commemoration of Europe Day 2016

Atlanta Commemoration of Europe Day 2016

May 9, 2016

Dr. Seefried speaks in front of an audience

     Diplomatic representatives in Atlanta from France, Germany, Great Britain, Austria, Slovenia and elsewhere across Europe were joined by an audience of interested patrons to observe the anniversary of the founding of the European Union.  The event was at the joint French and German consul facilities in Atlanta’s Colony Square, the Alliance Francaise and the Goethe-Zentrum.  Dr. Monique Seefried of Atlanta, a member of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and an ex-officio member of the Georgia World War I Centennial Commission, spoke on “Why is the centennial of World War I relevant for understanding Europe today?”  Introductory remarks were given by the Honorable Denis Barbet, Consul General of France, and Dr. Vicki Birchfield, co-director of the Center for European and Transatlantic Studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology. 

Atlanta Commemoration of Europe Day 2016


Governor's Appointees Sworn into Office

February 24, 2016

Governor Deal Swearing Appointees

In a ceremony held February 24, 2016 in the governor's office at the State Capitol, Governor Nathan Deal administered the oath of office to his two appointees to the Georgia World War I Centennial Commission.  Left to right are Commissioners Sam Friedman of Atlanta and Rick Elder of Sylvania, with Governor Deal.

At the Feb. 25 swearing-in ceremony are (l-r) University System Heritage Communications Associate Lamar Veatch, Commissioner Rick Elder, Commissioner Sam Friedman, Gov. Nathan Deal, and Georgia World War I Centennial Commission Executive Director Tom Jackson.

At the Feb. 24th swearing-in ceremony are (l-r) University System Heritage Communications Associate Lamar Veatch, Commissioner Rick Elder, Commissioner Sam Friedman, Gov. Nathan Deal, and Georgia World War I Centennial Commission Executive Director Tom Jackson.



January 13, 2016

France's Ambassador to the United States, Gérard Araud, pins The Legion d'Honneur onto U.S. World War I Centennial Commissioner Monique Seefried WASHINGTON, DC: Commissioner Monique Seefried, of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission was decorated as a Chevalier of France's Legion d'Honneur (Legion of Honor) by France's Ambassador to the United States, Gérard Araud, at the embassy residence on January 13th. Dr. Seefried, of Atlanta, is the federal commissioner responsible for liaison with the Georgia World War I Centennial Commission, among other states.

The award, bestowed by the President of the French Republic, François Hollande, upon recommendation of the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius,  was awarded to her for her long career in education and her work  on commemorating the sacrifices of American soldiers in France during World War I. 

The Legion d'Honneur is France's highest order of distinction. There are five levels to the national order, with France's president traditionally holding the highest level. The Chevalier, or Knight, level is the inaugural level. The Legion d'Honneur was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802.

Commissioner Seefried, a U.S. citizen born in Tunisia, has served with the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission since 2014, and beyond her work with education and state programs, she is the lead for international partnerships. She was responsible for the recently signed bi-lateral agreement between the United States Commission and the FrenchMission du Centenaire. 

During her tenure, she has been involved with outreach to such organizations as the U.S. Department of Education, the History Channel, the International Baccalaureate organization, and others. She has previously been inducted into France's National Order of Merit and the Order of the Academic Palms.

The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission was established by Congress in 2013 to develop and promote educational and commemorative programs to honor the role of the United States in World War I.

France's Ambassador to the United States, Gérard Araud, speaks at the podiumFrance's Ambassador to the United States, Gérard Araud, speaks at the podium next to Commissioner Monique SeefriedCommissioner Monique Seefried takes a photo with Ambassador Gérard AraudCommissioner Monique Seefried speaks at the podium next to Ambassador Gérard AraudAmbassador Gérard Araud converses to others with Commissioner Monique Seefried

All photos courtesy of ©Josselin Brémaud – Press office – Embassy of France to the US

About the U.S World War I Centennial Commission


About France's Legion d'Honneur, National Order of Merit, and other orders



Georgia World War I Centennial Commission Meets at Fort Benning

January 15, 2016

     Members of the Georgia World War I Centennial Commission held their January meeting at the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning.  In addition to conducting their regular business meeting, the commissioners attended a graduation ceremony for the Infantry School and toured the museum’s impressive section on World War I.  For more information on the National Infantry Museum see http://www.nationalinfantrymuseum.org/

Military man holding American flagMan speaking to the audienceGroup of people looking at plaqueMan speaking to group of people about an exhibit


The Great War that Changed the World, 1914-1918 Museum Exhibit

Exhibit at Georgia Southern University

February 2015 - January 2016

     The very successful exhibit “The Great War that Changed the World, 1914-1918” ends its nearly year-long run at the Georgia Southern Museum in Statesboro on January 24, 2016.  Commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War I, it depicts the introduction of new technology, the fall of empires, the rise of new states, the loss of a generation, and changes in society as a whole.  Curated by faculty from across Georgia Southern University with strong participation from GSU students in a wide variety of disciplines, the exhibit is the first of two marking the war’s centennial.  A second exhibit on “Georgia in the Great War” is planned for February 2017-January 2018.  For details, contact the Georgia Southern Museum at 912-478-5444 or www.GeorgiaSouthern.edu/Museum.

Image of Georgia Southern Museum.  Words on on wall read "The Great War"Image of Georgia Southern Museum.  An Introduction for the exhibit is written on the wallImage of Georgia Southern Museum.  An exhibit is shown here.Image of Georgia Southern Museum.  Man standing in front of wall looking at pictures.


Otranto Memorial Ceremony, Nashville , GA

October 10, 2015

Man speaking at podiumMan setting up chair   








     A memorial service in Nashville, Ga. honored the many Berrien County men who lost their lives in the sinking of the U.S. troop ship the Otranto off the coast of Ireland and Scotland in September 1918.  Of 60 Berrien County soldiers lost in World War I, 28 died in that one tragedy.  Georgia World War I Centennial Commission Executive Director Tom Jackson was among the speakers at the program in Nashville. 

    A troopship, crammed with more than a thousand men, suffered a catastrophic collision off the storm-lashed coast of the Scottish Hebrides. This is the story of the tragic Otranto, the 470 American soldiers and British sailors who were lost on her, and of how hundreds of others were snatched from the jaws of death.

    The end of the Great War was just weeks away when former P&O luxury liner, the Otranto, crossed the Atlantic, laden with young American soldiers. Just a few months before, she had made the same trip with Private Buster Keaton on board. To defy German submarines, the Otranto sailed in a convoy, protected by a ring of British warships.

    But, appalling weather prevented accurate navigation and the convoy was forced to rely on dead reckoning. When dawn broke, on the 6th of October 1918, a treacherous rocky coast was sighted. Most ships correctly identified it as Scotland, but not the Otranto. Her officers thought they were off Ireland. The Otranto turned north – and another troopship, the Kashmir, sliced into her, breaking her back.

    An extraordinary rescue mission ensued. British destroyer HMS Mounsey saved 596 men but 489 were left behind. Only 21 men – 17 of them Americans – managed to swim to the coast of the island of Islay, where they were dragged from the sea by islanders – mostly boys and old men not called-up to the army.

    But it was mostly bodies that the Islay people dragged ashore ( https://raycityhistory.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/october-13-1918-recovering-corpses-from-otranto-wreck/ ) . The following morning the coast was strewn with scores of them. In a remarkable display of public sympathy, local people scoured beaches, and men roped themselves together to climb down cliffs to retrieve bodies.

    Kilchoman Church became a morgue. 100 bodies were stretched out on the pews. When the church got full, they laid another 100 of the dead outside among the gravestones. The islanders buried these dead strangers in a moving and dignified ceremony ( https://raycityhistory.wordpress.com/2010/10/15/burial-of-the-otranto-victims/ ) .

    In America, the sense of shock was palpable. The New York Times, broke the story ( https://raycityhistory.wordpress.com/2010/10/11/otranto-sunk-in-collision/ )  in page  ( https://raycityhistory.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/oct-12-1918-372-u-s-soldiers-lost-in-sinking-of-otranto/ ) after page of horrific detail ( https://raycityhistory.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/october-13-1918-recovering-corpses-from-otranto-wreck/ ) . Nowhere was the shock more profoundly felt than Berrien County, Georgia. A disproportionate number of men came from the area, and of the 60 names carved on Nashville, GA’s war memorial ( https://raycityhistory.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/let-us-unveil/ ) , 28 are those of Otranto victims.

For intricate details, see Many Were Held by the Sea: The Tragic Sinking of the HMS Otranto, by R. Neil Scott, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2012, 288 pp., available on Amazon).

Georgia World War I Centennial Commission Donors

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Delta Logo

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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