104-Year-Old, Lloyd Brown Visted PA When School Honored WWI Veterans
Lloyd Brown, known as the oldest living WWI Veteran died in March, 2007
When Central PA School paid tribute to WWI Veterans, Lloyd Brown, now 104-years-old, from Charlotte Hall, Maryland, recently paid a visit to PA. A school in Central Pennsylvania paid a musical tribute to WWI Veterans. They preformed show tunes from that era and were dressed in WWI military uniforms.
The VA estimates that no more than 50, perhaps as few as 30, WWI Veterans are left to tell the story of what was then known as the Great War. An estimated 2 million Americans served in Europe after the U.S. entered the war in 1917.
Lloyd was a teenage seaman aboard the battleship USS New Hampshire, in port stateside when the fighting stopped.
Lloyd spends little time thinking about the days his ship escorted convoys in North Atlantic waters threatened by German submarines. He lives alone in a house in southern Maryland, just a few block from his daughter.
WWI began in the Balkans in 1914 and quickly spread across Europe because of military alliances. The major allied powers were Great Britain, France and Russia, and they were opposed by Germany, Austria, Hungary and a few others.
The U.S. remained neutral even as Germany threatened its shipping and as anti German sentiment grew among Americans. Congress declared war on Germany in April 1917, at the urging of President Woodrow Wilson.
More Than 10 Million Troops Died Before WWI Ended!
What was known as, "The War To End All Wars", has been fading in American memory. Unlike the wars that followed, WWI doesn't have the visual record so important to becoming part of American Consciousness. There is just not enough of moving-picture footage of WWI. There are no visual images there for the public to identify with.
Of the U.S. troops more than 116,000 died and more than 200,000 were wounded. Long-lived WWI Veterans are common among America's warriors. Today, the Veterans Affairs Department lists eight WWI Veterans as receiving disability benefits or pension compensation from service in WWI.
The ranks of all WWI Veterans grow thinner with each passing month. One of France's seven remaining veterans died in October, 2005. The last Australian to serve in a war zone died a week earlier.
In the U.S. the last known American veteran wounded in the war died at 108 in January, 2004. West Virginia's last WWI Veteran passed away in October 2004, and Iowa lost its only remaining Great War Veteran two months later.
Central PA honors WWI Veterans through parades, newspaper articles, and as simple as a school musical.
A Quote From WWI Veteran Lloyd Brown
During an interview, Lloyd Brown insisted that he does not believe that his war has been forgotten and feels satisfied with the attention paid to its WWI Veterans over the years.
"You can't celebrate WWI year after year because there are other events taking place." Lloyd said. "You have to honor them."
Read and enjoy a moving military poem that pays honor to our veterans.
Veterans Day History
Nov. 11, 1918: WWI ended with the implementation of an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities.
Nov. 11, 1919: President Woodrow Wilson proclaims the First Armistice Day.
Oct. 20, 1921: Congress declares Nov. 11, 1921, a federal legal holiday to honor all who participated in the war.
1926: Congress adopts a resolution directing the president to issue an annual proclamation calling on the observance of Armistice Day on Nov. 11. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, most states establish Nov. 11, as a legal holiday.
May 13, 1938: Congress passes legislation making Nov. 11, a legal federal holiday, Armistice Day.
June 1, 1954: President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a legislation changing the name of the legal holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
1968: Congress passes the Monday holiday, which establishes the fourth Monday in October as the new date for the observance of Veterans Day. The law is to take effect in 1971.
1975: Legislation passed to return the federal observance of Veterans Day to Nov. 11, based on popular support.