This 100-Year-Old Plaque Lists Old First Members Serving in World War I
From Pastor Meeter, regarding an amazing historical Old First document which was signed on June 8, 1917 — 100 years ago this month:
Count the names! It was a huge and defining moment in American history, our first big overseas war. We now call it World War I (because of World War II!) but back then it was simply The Great War: the war to end all wars.
The stalemate in the trenches of France and Belgium was deadly, but suddenly “The Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming,” and the tide turned against Germany. Young men enlisted. Optimistic, idealistic, English-American progressive civilization against the Hun! Christian America was becoming a world power. America was grown up. God and country. All the Protestant churches had no doubts (except for some German- and Dutch-speaking churches in the Midwest).
This plaque lists all those who signed up for the great idealistic cause, just after the USA entered the war, a year before the Armistice. Men and women, foot-soldiers, sailors, medics, doctors, nurses, early aviators–it’s hard to imagine the unanimity of feeling and support.