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Eloquence of Deeds

April 6, 2017 » Story by Maj. Norm Stickney

1st Lt. Jonathan Bratten, Maine National Guard Command Historian, provides remarks during “The Eloquence of Deeds”, commemorating the Centennial of the United States Entry into World War 1 on Thursday at the Maine State Cultural Building in Augusta. Over 32,000 Mainers served in uniform during the war; over 1,000 never came home, paying the ultimate sacrifice. (Army National Guard photo by Maj. Norman Stickney / Released).

Brig. Gen. Douglas Farnham, Adjutant General for the Maine National Guard, provides remarks during “The Eloquence of Deeds”, commemorating the Centennial of the United States Entry into World War 1 on Thursday at the Maine State Cultural Building in Augusta. Over 32,000 Mainers served in uniform during the war; over 1,000 never came home, paying the ultimate sacrifice. (Army National Guard photo by Maj. Norman Stickney / Released).

Maine citizens and service members gather at the Maine State Museum on April 6 to participate in the World War 1 Centennial Commemoration. Guest Speakers included Earle Shettleworth, the State Historian, Brig. Gen. Douglas Farnham, Adjutant General for the Maine National Guard and 1st Lt. Jonathan Bratten, Maine National Guard command historian. Representatives from Sen. Susan Collins and Rep. Chellie Pingree’s office were also present to read prepared remarks honoring the occasion. (Army National Guard photo by Maj. Norman Stickney / Released).

AUGUSTA— The Maine National Guard cohosted a World War 1 Centennial Commemoration with the Maine State Museum entitled “The Eloquence of Deeds”, commemorating the Centennial of the United States Entry into World War 1 on Thursday at the Maine State Archives in Augusta.

Guest Speakers included Earle Shettleworth, the State Historian, Brig. Gen. Douglas Farnham, Adjutant General for the Maine National Guard and 1st Lt. Jonathan Bratten, Maine National Guard command historian. Representatives from Sen. Susan Collins, Rep. Chellie Pingree and Rep. Bruce Poliquin's office were also present to read prepared remarks honoring the occasion.

Former Maine Governor Carl Milliken said in his War Address to the Maine Legislature on April 3, 1917, "Let us, by appropriate action, assure the President and Congress of our full and loyal support in this solemn hour of national crisis. No words need be added to his noble statement of the case. The eloquence of deeds can best be ours."

April 6 commemorates the entrance of the United States and Maine into the First World War. After World War I was declared in 1917, the entire National Guard of the state was called into service of the United States.

“Entry into the war was not a surprise and most of the men who signed up to serve knew exactly what they were getting in to,” said Farnham. “The Maine National Guard was made up from community members and families serving side by side. Mainers of all backgrounds: millworkers, lawyers, politicians, farmers, immigrants, Native Americans, sailors, fisherman, and lumberman”.

The War Department granted authority in September, 1917 for the establishment of an infantry regiment of National Guard. This unit was formed around the 2nd Maine Infantry and was designated the 103rd Infantry Regiment, assigned to the 26th "Yankee" Division. “For the first time in our history we were entering a European conflict,” said Bratten. “Sending our soldiers to European shores”.

“The coming two years would change the face of Maine and the Nation, forever,” said Bratten. “The echoes of World War I are still felt in our time, from as wide a spectrum as the events in the Middle East, down to the lopped off branches of family trees here at home”.

Over 32,000 Mainers served in uniform during the war; over 1,000 never came home, paying the ultimate sacrifice.

“As we commemorate the United States entry into World War I, we remember the service and actions of those who served; not just for what they did but for their legacy of service,” said Farnham.

Maine National Guard campaign credit in World War I includes the following: Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, Ile de France 1918, and Lorraine 1918.

For more information about the Maine National Guard’s proud history visit https://me.joint.afpims.mil/history/ For More information about Maine’s WW1 Centennial activities, visit http://www.worldwar1centennial.org/index.php/maine-wwi-centennial-home.html, or email maine@worldwar1centennial.org

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