By Joyce Waybright
The Bruce C. Clarke Library staff is proud to honor all our veterans, as well as our serving military and their family members, by providing free library materials, services and access to information.
Sunday is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I. Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the armistice. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world. Hostilities lasted from 1914 to 1918 with the United States declaring war on Germany April 6, 1917. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. An act of Congress approved May 13, 1938, made Nov. 11 each year a legal holiday; “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.’ Congress amended the act June 1, 1954, replacing “Armistice” with Veterans, and it has been known as Veterans Day since.
The Bruce C. Clarke Library has been participating in the Remember World War I program which started in April 2017 and will continue through December marking the 100th anniversary of the United States’ military participation the “the Great War.”
The Remember World War I project began with the simple realization that World War I is often neglected or seen as one of the less significant wars in history. But it was a war in which millions perished and many new military weapons and strategies were developed. In response, Army Family and Morale, Welfare Recreation libraries decided to host a book club to encourage discussion about World War I among its patrons, staff members, and the military community. Although it was initially an Army libraries’ event, it grew into a joint effort to include the Marines, the Navy, and the Air Force MWR libraries, as well as, other participating Army school libraries.
The goal of the project has been to pique interested in all branches of the military interested and discuss how the advancements made during World War I have shaped society and military life today. The website, www.rememberww1.com, is MWR libraries’ home for information about the project. The website hosts an interactive blog that encourages discussion. New topics will be discussed such as propaganda, lingo, music, trench warfare, aircraft, poppies, weapons such as tanks and air power advances. The blog also provides archival-historical films from the period and other resources for readers to conduct further research on their own.
Print copies of the texts from the Bruce C. Clarke Book Club Program are still available not only in the Clarke Library but in all Army MWR libraries, Marine Corps Community Services Libraries, and many other military libraries. Digital copies of the titles are also available on Army MWR Library Overdrive collection, Army MWR RBDigital Collection, Navy/Marine MWR Overdrive Collection, and AF Library Information Overdrive.
(Editor’s Note: Waybright is the chief of community services at the Bruce C. Clarke Library.)