Veterans Day 2017

Tippah County Courthouse. Ripley, Tippah County.

This day we honor veterans of all of America’s wars, but especially our doughboys of the Great War, which began in 1914 and consumed a generation of men. Veterans Day was established originally by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919 as “Armistice Day,” to mark the signing of the armistice that ended hostilities of the “war to end all wars” on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  Over the next twenty five years, memorials would be established to those who fought in World War I.  The World War I Memorial Inventory Project is attempting to document the location of those monuments across America.

WWI Memorial Detail. Belzoni, Humphreys County. 2012 B.Gatlin, MDAH from MDAH HRI database accessed 11-9-17

The World War I Memorial Inventory Project is a volunteer-based effort to assemble a comprehensive, online record of World War I memorials and monuments in the United States. Its mission is to promote the documentation, preservation, appreciation, and interpretation of these memorials, and in so doing, to raise the profile of World War I in American public consciousness.

You can see the Mississippi memorials that have been added at the link below.

World War I Monument Starkville, Oktibbeha County County. 2011 J Baughn, MDAH from MDAH HRI accessed 11-9-17

The seven memorials entered for Mississippi are in Belzoni, Jackson, Meridian, Picayune, Ripley, Starkville, Vicksburg.  There are many more across the state, perhaps as many as one in each county?  Harrison County has two I am aware of–one in Biloxi and one in Gulfport–while I believe there is no monument to veterans of the Great War in Jackson County.   The WW1 memorial database appears to seek out memorial monuments specifically, rather than parks or open spaces that have been dedicated to World War I veterans.

If you have the day off of work today maybe consider entering another Mississippi monument to World War I veterans.

Veterans Days past…


Categories: Historic Preservation


4 replies

  1. Natchez has been working very hard to remember ALL the persons who served from Adams County, MS. I hope this project is worthy of note by Preservation in Mississippi?
    -Shane Peterson


  2. USM Professor Bo Morgan will speak at the meeting of the Noxubee County Historical Society this coming Tuesday on the role of Mississippians in the so called “Great War.” Maybe we will learn how Germany’s famous sculptor, Fritz Behn, came to do the bronze statue of Governor Bilbo which William Winter hijacked from the Capitol Building Rotunda and stowed away in Room 113. Many of the Germany’s WWI memorials were done by Fritz Behn.
    Crawford-born Thomas Watt Gregory served as Wilson’s Attorney General during the war and vigorously enforced the U.S. Espionage Act, which went after anti-war activists. Gregory declined Wilson’s offer to proffer his nomination to the SCOTUS, citing his controversial role in enforcing the espionage act. Gregory did serve as Wilson’s aide at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Maybe he rubbed shoulders with Ben Victor Cohen and Louis Brandeis when Lord Balfour gave Palestine away. Gregory’s parents are buried at Friendship Cemetery in Columbus.


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