In 2013, Congress created the World War One Centennial Commission to recognize the 100th anniversary of the first World War. The national commission will use the anniversary “as an opportunity to educate the country’s citizens about the causes, courses and consequences of the war, to honor the heroism and sacrifice of those Americans who served, and to commemorate through public programs and initiatives the centennial of this global event.”
In addition to the national effort, in 2016 the General Assembly of Virginia created the Virginia World War I and World War II Commemoration Commissions to recognize the 100th anniversary of the first World War and the 75th anniversary of the second World War.
World War I lasted from July 28, 1914 to Nov. 11, 1918. Associated events, such as the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, followed the Armistice and are part of the history of the war. The United States entered the war by Congressional declaration on April 6, 1917.
Arlington has a rich history associated with the United States military. We are home to Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon and Joint Base Myer Henderson Hall. The national headquarters of the Association of the United States Army, the Navy League and the Air Force Association are also located in Arlington.
Many active and retired members as well as those who served in all branches of the military call Arlington home. Like all Americans, we are grateful for the service and sacrifice made by the men and women of our armed services.
Learn more about those Arlingtonians who lost their lives in World War I and are remembered at the historic war memorial at the west end of Clarendon Central Park above the Metrorail station. Used with generous permission from Arlington Historical Magazine.
Among those memorialized, Lt. John Lyon, the son of a prominent Arlington family, died on the battlefield in a particularly selfless display of valor just weeks before the war’s end.
In recognition of the significance of World War I the County Board has appointed a World War I Commemoration Task Force. The Task Force is asked to develop a plan and in some instances coordinate ways the County should recognize the anniversary. This work should take into account the many events that organizations independent of the County may sponsor and develop a calendar of such events.
The Task Force will recommend to the Board opportunities that the County may undertake or facilitate to recognize the involvement of the United States and, more specifically, the story of Arlington during wartime. The Board asks that such recommendations be inclusive of the private, non-profit and government sectors of the community, including schools.
The Board stresses that no funds have been appropriated for commemorative activities and none are assured. As part of their work, the Task Force may consider raising funds, provided that effort meets all appropriate County requirements.