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Date:
November 11, 2018
Time:
2:00 PM
Location:
1917 Courthouse
Address:
10011 Iron Bridge Road
Chesterfield, VA 23832
Contact:
804-796-7156
Cost:
Free
WW1 100th Ann Graphic
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Veteran's Day WWI Centennial Commemoration

Sunday, November 11, 2018

This year’s Veteran’s Day event will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I with the signing of the armistice on the 11th month, the 11th day, on the 11th hour that ended hostilities. This commemoration will include living history displays, musical performances, presentation of banners and wreaths, honoring WWI Veterans, unveiling of a new interpretive sign on the Courthouse Green and opening of a new changing exhibit focusing on Chesterfield County’s role in the Great War at the Chesterfield Museum and 1892 Historic Jail.

The WWI Armistice ended fighting on land, sea and air in Europe. Participates will remember those lost during World War I and pay tribute to them and to the veterans of all wars and conflicts of the United States of America. The ceremony will include:

  • Tolling of the 1917 Courthouse bell in honor of the 19 Chesterfield County residents who died serving our country in WWI.
  • Performance of the symbolic WWI Poem “In Flanders Fields” by St. Augustine Church Choir.
  • Presentation of Banners and Wreaths in Memory of our Fallen Soldiers.
  • A Color Guard consisting of the Civil Air Patrol, USAF Auxiliary.
  • Unveiling of an interpretive sign about the history of Chesterfield County during WWI.
  • Viewing of and tactical vehicles from the 502th Transportation Company.

After the ceremony:

  • A WWI-era musical performance by the Chesterfield Twinning Association inside the Historic 1917 Courthouse, which was built during WWI.
  • Visit NEW exhibits in the Chesterfield County Museum and the Historic 1892 Jail – “Chesterfield Remembers World War I: A Centennial Commemoration.”

In 1917, more than 1,500 Chesterfield County men either volunteered or were drafted to serve in World War I, and only initially 167 men were selected for training before transportation to France to participate in the "Great War." Some men served their full enlistment, and some served only a few months because they died from disease while in training. A recruiting station was set up at the old Chesterfield County courthouse to form an infantry company. Around 100 drafted recruits pitched their tents and camped on the courthouse green, where now we hold the annual Veterans Day ceremony. These soldiers were not just waiting to be shipped to a training camp to prepare for the battles in France, they were also here to be honored by their fellow citizens. One hundred years ago on November 11, 1918 – “At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month” – the Armistice was signed to mark the end of WWI. After that, our soldiers started coming home. Nineteen Chesterfield County soldiers died during WWI. This event commemorates their bravery, paying for freedom with their lives.