military

Living History Day remembers service in World War I

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News World War I took its toll on Wood County. Seventy-three young men, some still teenagers, died while in service in the war. All were remembered Sunday at the Living History Day at Oak Grove Cemetery. They were clerks, teachers, and many farmers and farmhands. When the United States entered the war in 1917, they answered the call by local recruiters to enlist, and they headed to France. But the majority of those who died in uniform in the war never made it to France. Disease, especially pneumonia and influenza, were as much an enemy as Germany. Those attending the annual event heard from them, or their bereaved parents. Those not given full presentations had their lives and deaths encapsulated in a few sentences and read solemnly by a troupe of high school students, not much younger than the dead soldiers. That so many of the family names were familiar, only brought the tragedy of the war closer to home. The first to go over there was a woman, Margaret Lehmann. She joined a contingent of Red Cross nurses at the beginning of the war in Europe in 1914. She was portrayed by Cassie Greenlee, with a script by Hal Brown. First, Lehmann was stationed in France. There they saw how trench warfare, living in constant wet conditions, claimed the lower extremities. Infection set in quickly. “Our nurses do what we can to help them,” the nurse said. When her six months were over, and Lehmann could have returned home, she realized that “I knew somehow there was more I could do.” She was then…

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