by Steven V. Smith, ’84 – Chair, CAA History Committee
This article originally appeared in the Alumni News of The Citadel – Summer 2017. It is published here in its entirety with the permission of the Citadel Alumni Association. Photos have been added to this web post which did not appear in the original print version.
Cadets enrolled in Professor Kyle Sinisi’s class, History 391: The U.S. in World War I, spent their days of Spring break walking the American Expeditionary Force battlefields in France. Accompanying the class were Board of Visitors member, Col. Myron Harrington, USMC, Ret., ’61, and the director of Daniel Library, Lt. Col. David Goble, SCM, ’69. The group was also fortunate to have Matthew Davenport, critically acclaimed author of First Over There: The Attack on Cantigny, America’s First Battle of World War I, accompany them.
In the village of Cantigny, they walked the terrain of America’s first combined arms attack as Davenport described the action where in the early morning of May 28, 1918, the 3,500 soldiers of the 1st Division climbed out of their trenches to (more…)
One year ago, I published I wear the ring and publicly announced the availability of this digital memorial to the Citadel Men interred and memorialized here in 16 military cemeteries across Europe and North Africa.
It has been a year of vibrant impressions and one of the most spiritually and emotionally enriching years of my life. As I have tried to get to know these men and to share their stories, I have had the pleasure of making many new friends, and reconnecting with old friends, here in Europe and in America. So many warm and incredible people have touched my life this year. For this, I am truly grateful.
I have compiled my Top Ten Memories. Here is our story as I experienced it the past 12 months…
– Into Thy Hands O Lord –
A few days after “going public”, I received an email from an alumnus. A few weeks later, I flew over the North Sea to visit Cambridge American Cemetery in England with him, two of his sons, and the historian of “The Bloody 100th”. It was an inspirational and moving experience that I shall never forget. Together, we paid our respects to the three Citadel Men resting in peace and the one memorialized on the Wall of the Missing. Together, we recited The Cadet Prayer.
On that day, I began a new phase in this journey. See my post The Major of St. Lo.
– Memorial Day –
During Memorial Day weekend, I visited the Citadel Men resting in peace at the Netherlands and Henri-Chapelle American Cemeteries. The two cemeteries are located just 20 kilometers from each other, one on either side of the Dutch-Belgian border to the east of Maastricht and Liege in the direction of Aachen, Germany.
An alumnus wrote to me several times during April and May, “Don’t forget those who are still Missing-In-Action!”. In remembrance of the eight men who rest in no known grave here in Europe and North Africa, I laid flowers at the grave of an unknown a few meters from Albert S. Hagood, Class of 1931. They are not forgotten.
– Faces and Stories –
Since last April, I have received details about our men from many places – alumni, family, their “adopters”, historians, and archivists. Four men have received the attention of several posts. Their names, faces, and stories have become familiar. (more…)