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New Mexico Military Museum commemorates an overshadowed WWI

Santa Fe New Mexican, May 27, 2018

By Robert Nott

It was supposed to be the war to end all wars, the great war, the war that would ensure democracy around the world.

But in some ways, World War I has become the forgotten war, one that is fading away in the shadow of better-known and memorialized conflicts such as World War II, the Vietnam War and current strife in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In Santa Fe, some 100 years after America entered World War I, the New Mexico National Guard Museum is honoring the period with an interactive exhibit designed to inspire people to learn more about the reasons behind the war, the men who fought it and the political, cultural and military impact it had.

The World War I Museum Exhibit opened Saturday and will run for two years.

The opening ties in with the recent formation of the New Mexico World War I Centennial Commission, which will host events around the state to showcase New Mexico’s role in the war.

U.S. Army Capt. Gabriel Peterman, who oversees the museum, said that when he taught history in the public schools he was only given one or two days to run through the complex, complicated story of World War I — which started with the June 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire — by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo, Bosnia.

Continue Reading at the Santa Fe New Mexican

New Mexico Military Museum Hosts World War I Exhibit

SANTA FE, N.M. - The New Mexico Military Museum will host a World War I Exhibit opening Saturday, May 26 at 1050 Old Pecos Trail. This special exhibit, which commemorates the end of WWI, runs through May 2020. Admission is free.
This interactive exhibit highlights four aspects of the war: air, sea, land, and the costs of the war.
Visitors are welcome to climb aboard a German UB6 Submarine, walk through a WWI command bunker such as the one used by our NMNG’s Roswell Battery A Soldiers during the Great War, see a WWI SE5 Biplane, visit a replica of the American WWI Meuse-Argonne Cemetery in France, check out a WWI 1916 Harley Davidson, along with many of our WWI weapons and equipment. 

There will be WWI subject matter experts speaking about the events of the Great War, along with book signings and films to enjoy.

The public and the media are invited to attend.  For more information, please contact Joe Vigil at (505) 553-1427 or joseph.l.vigil2.civ@mail.mil



New Mexico World War 1 Centennial Commission Pershing Endorsement

Below is a letter from Mrs. Sandra Pershing supporting the efforts of the New Mexico WW1 Commission.  The support of the Gen. John Pershing's granddaughter is meaningful and motivating for all our members, veterans, families and those we hope to reach by honoring and remembering the heroes of a century ago.

Sandra S. Pershing Letter[883].jpeg

Forgotten sacrifice: Historians aim to keep memory of World War I alive

By Maddy Hayden

Albuquerque Journal

Friday, November 10th, 2017 


The United States entered World War I more than a century ago on April 2, 1917.

Hundreds of thousands of young American men, including thousands of New Mexicans, were sent “over there” – mostly to France – to fight on the battlefields and in the trenches.

The U.S. had vowed to stay neutral in the conflict that had raged on in Europe since 1914, but the German sinking of a British ship carrying American civilians eventually led to a declaration of war.

The last American “doughboy,” as soldiers in the conflict were known, died in 2011.

As even the children of the war’s veterans are reaching extreme old age, WWI is quickly fading from memory.

“World War I remains America’s forgotten war, even though more Americans gave their lives during that war than during Korea and Vietnam combined, and even though it profoundly shaped the rest of ‘the American century,’ ” reads an introduction on the home page of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, created by Congress in 2013 and tasked with educating today’s Americans about the war.

The First World War is generally, it seems, eclipsed by the second, which resulted in four times as many American casualties and is fresher in Americans’ minds.

New Mexicans are especially connected to World War II’s Battle of Bataan and the subsequent death march, which claimed the lives of as many as 650 Americans.

Continue reading this story at The Albuquerque Journal

Remembering New Mexico in World War I

The Great War: A fading memory

By Tripp Stelnicki

The New Mexican, April , 2017


The telegram was a series of numbers, a code meant for German and Mexican eyes only.

Once intercepted and deciphered by British intelligence, the message was clear enough: The Germans wanted to promote war between Mexico and the United States.

New Mexico — 17553 67893 — was part of the proposition.

Not long afterward, the German foreign secretary who had sent the fateful telegram publicly acknowledged its veracity. Germany had indeed offered an alliance and encouraged Mexico to take back the southwestern territory it had lost to the United States more than half a century earlier.

This, in early 1917, did not improve Americans’ already dim view of either country — in particular Germany, which had recently announced it would conduct unrestricted submarine warfare. Americans’ widely held noninterventionist convictions, which only months earlier had carried anti-war incumbent President Woodrow Wilson to re-election, were failing.

On April 2, 1917, one hundred years ago, Wilson appeared before Congress and made the case for war against Germany. Four days later, on April 6, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly adopted the war resolution and America plunged into what would become one of the deadliest conflicts in human history, its shadow reaching every corner of the nation, not least the relatively new state of New Mexico.

 Continue reading this story at The New Mexican


New Mexico WW1 Centennial Commission

Governor Susana Martinez, Chairperson 

Jack R. Fox, Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Department of Veterans Services

MG Kenneth A. Nava, Adjutant General, State of New Mexico

Veronica Gonzales, Cabinet Secretary New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

Rebecca Latham, Cabinet Secretary New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs 

Andrew J. Wulf, Cabinet Secretary New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

MG Jerry Grizzle, President, New Mexico Military Institute

Jeffrey A. Lowdermilk, World War I Historian and Author

CCM Mitchell Brush, New Mexico National Guard

CSM Jerry Garcia, New Mexico National Guard 

Meredith Davidson, Curator, NM History Museum and the Palace of the Governors

Tom Leech, Curator-Director, The Palace Press/NM History Museum 

CPT Gabriel Peterman, Officer in Charge, New Mexico Military Museum

Gary Miller, Curator, New Mexico Military Museum

Ray Seva, Public Information Officer, New Mexico Dept. of Veterans Services

Joe Vigil, Public Affairs Officer, New Mexico National Guard

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