What: Nationwide press conference with key commissioners and dignitaries from the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission announcing the first 50 memorials officially designated as WWI Centennial Memorials. The memorials are in 28 different states. Each recipient will receive a $2,000 matching grant funds towards the restoration and maintenance of these memorials through 100 Cities/100 Memorials.
When: Wednesday, September 27 at 9 a.m. CST
Speakers and Interviews:
- Terry Hamby, chairman of the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission (appointed last week by Senate Majority Leader, Senator Mitch McConnell)
- Edwin Fountain, vice-chairman of the World War One Centennial Commission (appointed by then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid)
- Dr. Libby O’Connell, commissioner, U.S. World War One Centennial Commission (appointed by President Barack Obama)
- Kenneth Clarke, president and CEO of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library
- Leaders from The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars
Representing selected WWI Centennial Memorials and available for interviews:
- Colonel Eugene Scott, USA (Retired) and his wife Beverly – Representing the Victory Memorial dedicated to 370th Infantry Regiment at 3500 S Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in Chicago
- John Vires, President of the Wheaton Park District Board of Commissioners and Jeanne Ives, Illinois State Representative 42nd District – Representing Wheaton Illinois WWI Obelisk
- Gerald York – representing the Sgt. Alvin York Gravesite (Sgt. York is a Medal of Honor Recipient from WWI and Gerald is his grandson) located in located in Pall Mall, Tennessee
Why: The 100 Cities/100 Memorials was created to help draw attention to WWI memorials across the United States and enables all of America to take part in the WWI Centennial Commemoration. Many of these World War I war memorials have deteriorated due to exposure to the elements, neglect and even vandalism and all require maintenance.
The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission was created by an Act of Congress in 2013. Members of the Commission were appointed by the President and the leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign. Wars, and the National World War I Museum. All four living former Presidents have agreed to serve the commission as honorary chairmen.