“These weren’t just names — they were family members,” says Lisa Ann Maynard in a touching documentary about her great uncle, Paul, who died in France on the day of the Armistice, November 11, 1918.
The American Battle Monuments Commission is responsible for this piece. It is a striking compilation of primary sources: recordings, newsreels, photographs, and letters. Though I’ve been searching for information about World War I for the past year and a half, I had not seen most of them. Many thanks to fellow blogger Keith Muchowski for bringing this excellent 30-minute film to my attention.
My recently-finished manuscript also speaks of the common folks living in the era of World War I: farmers, schoolteachers and shopkeepers who were writing to soldiers who longed just to join them at home.
I too had a great uncle, Leo, who died in France late in the same war. In fact, the week before his death, German commanders had told the Kaiser they could not win. But he and his comrades followed orders. A talented artist and newspaper cartoonist, Uncle Leo was sketching maps on the front lines. For Sergeant Maynard and Corporal Porter, let’s remember the price paid for our freedom. They and many others are never forgotten.
Leo Ross Porter, World War I soldier from Angola, Indiana