Nebraska gets set to commemorate America’s entry into World War One, 100 years ago.
State Veterans Affairs Director John Hilgert says it is likely many Nebraskans don’t know a whole lot about World War I.
“One of the reasons that we do commemorations is to raise the awareness of not only the conflict, but the impact it had on the state and on our lives and on America.” Hilgert tells reporters during a news conference held at the Capitol with the bust of Gen. John Pershing as the background.
Pershing taught military science at the University of Nebraska prior to commanding the American Expeditionary Force in Europe which helped to bring an end to World War I.
Gov. Pete Ricketts says the various activities during the two-year commemoration should be a learning experience.
“I do think that there’s a lot of people who don’t understand how important World War I was to our nation and what it meant after all the strife that we saw in the 19th Century and in our country, how we came together to fight that war and what it meant for our country as far as being a global power,” Ricketts says.
As part of the commemoration, Nebraskans will be urged to plant poppies. Poppies Across Nebraska is a cooperative effort of Nebraska Extension’s Master Gardener Program and the Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The poppies have come to memorialize World War I after the publication of the poem “In Flanders Fields.”
The Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs as launched a website honoring the 100th anniversary of WWI: <https://veterans.nebraska.gov/WWI>.
Commemoration ceremonies conclude at the Huskers’ home game against Illinois November 10th of 2018 in Memorial Stadium, named in honor of those who lost their lives during the Great War. According to Soldiers of the Great War, Memorial Edition, 355 Nebraskans lost their lives in combat, 255 died of disease, 17 wounded and 30 were lost to accidents.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]