I think we all know that we are in the midst of the 100th Anniversary of World War I, the war that was supposed to end all wars. I know that I have written many words about it. But I want to share with you a way that each Hunt County resident can help remember those involved in the war and those who gave their lives in the service of their countries. Remember the United States was not the only participant.
The Hunt County Historical Commission members dedicate themselves to the preservation of local history. We assist with historical markers, we answer numerous questions about the history of Hunt County and its many communities, we locate and keep an eye on cemeteries, and one of our members gladly indexes old Greenville newspapers. Sometimes we have such a meaningful event we need to have a public observance of its importance.
On April 13, 1996 the Hunt County Historical Commission entertained the county with the 150th Birthday Celebration on the Courthouse Square. Now we have another important date to commemorate and we want input on ways to share our respect for those whose lives were drastically changed a century ago.
Next Thursday, May 25, we will have our bi-monthly meeting at the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum beginning at 7:00 P.M. Everyone is invited, and the good new is that it is free. We may have a few leftover items on the agenda, but the primary purpose is to discuss ways to celebrate November 11, 2018.
At exactly 11:00 A.M. on the eleventh day of the eleventh month guns came to a halt. All high-ranking military men in the war signed the armistice. As the news spread, tears of joy and sadness flowed around the world.
John Byrd and John Armstrong have collected over 600 names of men who registered for the draft, enlisted here in Hunt County, died either in action or from the dreaded Spanish Influenza, or returned home to continue an new life, and were buried in one of our county cemeteries. The two Johns did a tremendous job, but as John Armstrong asked, “What’s next? How do we honor these men?”
There is a national movement to place flags on the grave of each of these men as well as a special World War I flag. We plan to do our part. There is a monument in front of the courthouse with the names of the forty-one who gave their lives. On one of the memorial walls at the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum are the same names, I believe. Other communities may have similar memorials for the men from there who died and maybe even those who served. On May 28 I am speaking at Brigham Cemetery in Campbell. I’ll tell what I know about some of their veterans.
But we would like to have a countywide memorial.
So if you are the descendent of a World War I veteran from any part of the country, if you are interested in the past, or if you interviewed a veteran or a relative who was on the Homefront, please join us. We need your input. We need to honor our past. For more information feel free to contact at my email below.