On April 6, 1917 the Congress of the United States declared war and entered the Great War. A legislator from Dixfield rose in the State House of Representatives and said, “I was old enough to fight in the Civil War and I am young enough to fight again.” The Maine National Guard was called up and more than 32,000 Mainers served out of a population of 777,000. Over 1,000 Mainers would not return home.
Earlier today this occasion was observed at the Maine State Museum. Distinguished speakers included the Maine Brigadier General, Maine National Guard Command Historian, Maine State Historian, and representatives from Maine’s Members of Congress. Governor LePage’s Proclamation was read aloud.
Maine National Guard Command Historian First Lieutenant Jonathan Bratten reminds us, “It falls upon us, their descendants, to remember their courage and make the world a better place in their memory.”
AARP Maine looks forward to partnering with the Maine State Museum for a special WWI commemorative event later this year. Stay tuned for more details.