World War I remembered at Kanawha

Gerald Edgar, Hancock County Veterans Affairs Director, was the keynote speaker for the Veteran's Day Program at  West Hancock Middle School, anawha on Monday.

Rebecca Peter | The Leader

KANAWHA - In 1918 at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the guns fell silent on the Western front in Europe. It was hoped, that with the signing of the Armistice a century ago, World War I would be “the war to end all wars.”

Sadly, as history and subsequent wars proved, such was not the case.

Gerald Edgar, Hancock County Director of Veterans Affairs, was the guest speaker for the Veterans Day program at Kanawha on Monday.

Edgar shared with the audience at West Hancock Middle School, some of ‘firsts” of the World War I including the first time airplanes, tanks, submarines and machine guns were used in warfare. World War I saw the use of chemical warfare.

In addition, the influenza pandemic of 1918-19 led to the deaths of millions.

In the United States, the name Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor veterans who served in all conflicts.

Edgar said there are fewer than 700,000 veterans of World War II left nation-wide.

“I believe in our county there are about five out of about almost 900 veterans,” he said. “This county was very typical of Iowa. A higher percentage of our population served in the Armed Forces than most other areas.”

Read the complete story in the Nov. 14 Leader.