Professors Warn WWI Could Become Forgotten

A professor from Salem State University insists that the 100 years old conflict might soon become forgotten. Chris Mauriello, a history professor, is taking his students on a trip this summer, which he organized in an effort to visit the battlefields of the First World War and to give the students a different, more complex view on what the war was all about, how it was fought and where it took place.

The two professors, Chris Mauriello and Steven Matchak, a geography professor of Salem State University, have organized and led several trips in Europe ever since 2001 and they also did two trips centered on the four years of the First World War.

Matchak said it is better for students and anyone interested to know the history of the First World War to visit the places and battlefields they want to learn about, since it has a bigger impact on you to be taught on the exact site where that particular event took place. “World War I happened all over — you can’t appreciate it without seeing the battle site,” Matchak said.

The war and its history can be seen all across Lynn, on its streets, bridges and schools named after residents of Lynn who died in World War I, such as Chase Street, Purdon Avenue and Buchanan Bridge. The First World War has a room devoted to the the conflict, which took place between 1914 and 1918. The museum is located on Andrew Street and it is owned by the city.

“Half of these guys died of the plague — not battlefield wounds,” said Larry Campbell, a local historian. Larry Campbell’s father, Frank Campbell, fought in the war and his name is on a large metal plaque, carefully placed in one of the corners of the First World War room in the museum, together with his brother, Percy Campbell, the reports.

According to Larry, his father Frank, served with an artillery battery, while his uncle Percy served with the Marine Corps, however, he believes the two ran into each other during the war. He said that his father heard his brother’s voice in a tent at Chateau Thierry, which is located about 60 miles northeast of Paris, one of the stops for the First World War trip participants, who will stay overnight in 6 French and Belgian cities, from July 7 to July 20.

To visit the battlefields and the museums, including the study and the travel, will cost those interested about $3,400.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE