This year will mark the beginning of the 100th Anniversary of America’s experience in the First World War. On January 10, 2017 the Brazos County World War I Centennial Committee was formed to recognize and commemorate the sacrifice and service of our local citizens in this conflict. We are partnering with both the United States and Texas World War I Centennial Commissions in their missions of information and awareness, commemorative events and education.
There is an incredible amount of rich history associated with Texas A&M University and the local area during the period of 1917–1919. A&M contributions of service and leadership by its former students, faculty and staff are well known, but many do not know about the campus hosting the only Allied training location for meteorology and it trained close to 4,000 Army personnel in the signal corps and mechanics during the war. Overshadowed by World War II, many are also unaware that some of the men who served as junior officers in this first conflict continued as senior officers in the second; thus, providing valuable experience and leadership to those of the “Greatest Generation.”
There are over 800 veterans buried in Brazos County, including men, women, African Americans, Jewish Americans, Mexican Americans and first generation Americans. They all have a story to be told. Joan Ludwig during a wreath laying ceremony for her husband last year stated, “They say veterans die twice. The first time is when you put them in the ground. The second time is when you forget them.” We do not intend for these veterans to be forgotten.