Representative Stephen Handy, sponsor of H.C.R. 2 Concurrent Resolution Recognizing the United States and Utah’s Participation in World War I, spoke at the ceremony to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the U.S. entering World War I.
The war to end all wars began July 28, 1914. Nearly two years later, on April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked United States Congress to declare war on the German Empire. On April 6, America entered the Great War.
A few months later, on May 18th the Selective Draft Act passed, which allowed compulsory enlistment in the military. According to the Utah departments of Veterans and Military Affairs and Heritage and Arts, over 21,000 Utahns went into the Armed Forces of the United States, 10,000 volunteered to serve, and 11,000 were drafted.
On November 11, 1918, the armistice to end the war was signed. During WWI, 655 Utahns lost their lives, and 864 were wounded.
H.C.R. 2 recognizes the United States’ and Utah’s participation in the Great War. It also helped establish a Utah World War I Centennial Commission. The purpose of the Commission is to develop a statewide awareness campaign to recognize the history of the war, the role of the U.S. military played, the impact of the war on America’s and Utah’s society and culture and to remember those who served and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
“I think it is important to remember the dedication and sacrifice of all those who served in World War I,” said Rep. Handy. “Courageous men and women fought to preserve our freedom, and it is our responsibility to acknowledge what they fought so hard to achieve.”
This event was co-sponsored by the Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs and the Utah Division of State History. It featured the Utah National Guard Brass Quintet, a poetry reading by Robert Means, senior librarian for Brigham Young University, and artifacts from the period.
The Utah Division of State History created an interactive map to find locations of veterans’ memorials located throughout the state. MVI_0964There are approximately 180 memorials dedicated to over 20 wars, conflicts and terrorist attacks that occurred since 1775. Visit the website to see photos of the memorials, war descriptions and memorial dedications dates here.
Thank you to all those who served and are currently serving for your dedication and sacrifice.
See additional pictures from the event here.