County to honor WWI soldiers and all veterans Sunday County to honor WWI soldiers and all veterans Sunday
A commemoration of the 100th anniversary of World War I and a Veterans Day event will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11,... County to honor WWI soldiers and all veterans Sunday

A commemoration of the 100th anniversary of World War I and a Veterans Day event will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, on the courtyard outside the old Chesterfield County courthouse.

The event will include the unveiling of a World War I interpretive sign by the Chesterfield History Society and the board of supervisors.

The Thomas Dale High School Band will perform along with the choir from St. Augustine Catholic Church. Retired Marine Corps Major Don Kappel will be master of ceremonies.

Supervisor Dorothy Jaeckle will be speaking at the annual event. She lauded the county’s 1917-1918 Centennial and Veterans committees for their work in preparation for the event.

George “Buddy” Cranford, co-chairman of the Centennial Committee and president of the Chesterfield Historical Society, said the effort on the World War I interpretive sign, along with one for the 1917 Courthouse, began in 2015.

The first sign was unveiled Oct. 26, 2017 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the cornerstone laying for the 1917 Courthouse. The second sign will be unveiled Nov. 11 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the declaration of the Armistice of World War I.

The signs are 24 x 36 inches each and will match existing Civil War Trail interpretive signs located at county-owned facilities. The total cost for both signs was $750, which came from a variety of funds.

Nineteen Chesterfield County soldiers who fought and died in World War I will be honored at the event. The library at the Chesterfield Historical Society has a compilation of the soldiers’ histories for future family researchers.

“To me, no other war has ravaged the world as much as WWI,” Cranford said in an email. “ I know WWII was not a cakewalk for our veterans of that war, but the ‘Great War to end all wars’ did not just stop on the ‘eleventh month, on the eleventh day, at the eleventh hour.’ Only an armistice occurred. It was two weeks after that when the war ended in Africa. I refer to WWI and the men who fought it as ‘the Forgotten.’ Here we are, 100 years later, and we still have wars, and not many remember the ‘Doughboys.’”

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