David DeJonge, who has spearheaded the American effort to respectfully preserve the memory of the heroes fallen in WWI, is the spokesperson for last WWI Veteran Frank Buckles and President of the National WWI Memorial Foundation. DeJonge will present his film and discuss the political schemes that overtook the last WWI Veterans dream for a Memorial in DC.
“I can tell you this much, 10 days after Buckles (last WWI veteran) testified in Senate for a DC WWI Memorial location, anonymous letters were sent to the lead senators for the cause likely getting them to stop fighting for a DC location.” DeJonge stated. “Kansas City forced him to testify and they have always been opposed to a memorial in DC. I began talks in 2005 with them about creating a sister memorial in DC. To that they said: ‘No we should be the only memorial’. 13 years later it looks like they will be and likely they not only will be but get over ten million dollars in the process. And that is just one instance that I have documented,” DeJonge said.
The WWI Memorial effort in DC is in a death spiral. The World War One Centennial Commission overtook the effort and passed a law to put the memorial in Pershing Park. The Park is a 30-minute walk from the other memorials on the Mall. And it turned out to be protected -cannot be changed. If the memorial moves forward, the memorial to 5 million veterans will replace a Zamboni door in the bottom of the ice rink.
Frank Buckles was the last surviving WWI hero (died 2011), who began the initiative on March 6, 2008 with DeJonge after a visit to the an unveiling of DeJonge’s photography project with the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. They visited the abandoned DC (local) WWI Memorial on the National Mall, Buckles asked DeJonge that it be restored and a National Memorial built on the Mall. The DC WWI Memorial was restored. Then local politicians reneged on their word to help the last WWI Veterans dying wish; build a Memorial on the Mall.
‘Pershing’s Last Patriot’, is on the life, death and ongoing efforts of Buckles, and the Campaign for a WWI Memorial in DC. The film has a pending PBS broadcast after an update.
When: April 11, 2018, 7:00 p.m. (introduction and background to the movie)
Where: Sticht lecture hall, Grove City College, Grove City, Pennsylvania
Screening time: Between 7:20
Why: The Grove City College Center for Vision and Values (http://www.visionandvaluesevents.com/) is holding a World War One Conference as part of the WWI Centennial.
A Q&A session will be held after the conclusion of the movie (theater available till 10pm).
For more information, please visit: www.wwimemorial.org