The Washington County Historical Society, in conjunction with the Washington County Veterans Memorial Committee, the VFW, the Cecil Grimes Legion Post and the Christopher Harrison D.A.R. Chapter are proud to announce that on Thursday, April, 6th at 11:30am, will host a 100th anniversary commemoration ceremony for the United States entry into WW1. The ceremony will take place on the south side of the Washington County Courthouse, at the Veterans Memorial. Several county veterans of this war will be mentioned in the ceremony, so family members of WW1 veterans are strongly urged to attend!
A month after the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, World War I erupted in Europe, in July of 1914, and President Woodrow Wilson pledged neutrality for the United States. However, by early 1917, the German Navy had been responsible for damaging or sinking a few passenger ships, with U.S. citizens onboard, along with several U.S. merchant ships. These events did not benefit the reputation of Imperial Germany in the eyes of the American public. Furthermore, a telegram sent from German officials to Mexican officials, offering to assist them in regaining territories lost in the Mexican-American War was widely published and enraged American citizens. When 4 more U.S. merchant ships were sank by Germany in late March, President Wilson, bolstered by the public outcry, appeared before Congress on April 2nd, calling for a declaration of war on Germany.
“The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind. We shall be satisfied when those rights have been made as secure as the faith and the freedom of nations can make them…. It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts—for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.”
President Woodrow Wilson Address to Congress, 2 April 1917
By April 6, 1917, both the Senate and the House had overwhelmingly endorsed the declaration.
This event is free and open to the public, please come join us in commemorating this significant historical event.