World War I centennial events scheduled in Lincoln Park

LINCOLN PARK — To help commemorate this year’s 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, the Lincoln Park Historical Society and Museum is hosting a series of events to observe the centenary.

Elizabeth Clemens, author of “Detroit in World War I” (Arcadia Publishing, 2015), will be the museum’s guest speaker at 2 p.m. Nov. 3, offering a visual presentation on Detroit’s role in the war, its industrial contributions and the effect of the war on the Detroit homefront.

The Lincoln Park Historical Society & Museum is at 1335 Southfield Road.

Clemens is the audiovisual archivist at the Walter Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Union Affairs at Wayne State University. She has authored a second book of Detroit history, “The Works Progress Administration in Detroit.”

At the same program, Mayor Tom Karnes will read excerpts from the war diary kept by his grandfather, Walter P. Gaffigan of Detroit. Private Gaffigan’s journal covers six months from the time of his enlistment in April 1918, his deployment to France in June and serving on the Western Front with G Company, 112th Ammunition Train of the 37th Division. The 37th was involved in the fighting at the Meuse-Argonne and the Ypres-Lys offensives against the German Army, just prior to November’s armistice.

Other family members of men who served in the “The Great War” also will be in attendance. The Historical Society extended an invitation to those who had ancestors who served in the war.

Admission to the event is free and is open to the public. Freewill offerings will be accepted. Light refreshments will be served following the program.

Joining with many communities across the country, Lincoln Park also will host a ceremony and bell-tolling on Nov. 11 at the museum, observing the centenary of the armistice which brought peace and an end to World War I, leading to the establishing of Armistice Day as an annual day of remembrance that would officially become Veterans Day in 1954.

Michigan has proclaimed Nov. 11, 2018 as World War I Remembrance Day, as has the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission to honor the memories of those who served and those who lost their lives in the war. Lincoln Park’s two veterans’ chapters, American Legion Post 67 and VFW Post 552 are co-sponsors and participants in the commemoration event that will begin at 10:45 a.m.

“We will be observing the 11 a.m. bell-tolling here on the museum grounds, joining with communities across the country and the world at the appointed hour: the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” Museum Curator Jeff Day said.

“We are gathering just a bit earlier to start the ceremony at 10:45 a.m. The ceremony will feature the reciting of names of those men from our community who served in The Great War and will include the Presentation of Colors along with readings, prayers, and music.”

The public is invited, with a special invitation extended to anyone whose ancestors served in the war. The museum will have special hours on Nov. 11, remaining open until 2 p.m.

The historical museum’s current exhibit, “The Great War and Its Local Connection” continues through Nov. 14. Regular museum hours are from 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Wednesdays.

For more information, call 313-386-3137 or email lpmuseum@gmail.com