New monument for those that died in WWI to be unveiled

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DUNMORE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — More than 10,000 Pennsylvanians made the ultimate sacrifice during World War I. To honor them, and the other Americans that died in the war, a new monument is expected to be revealed in Washington, D.C.

One local grandson is now making sure that Lackawanna County residents who died in that war are also remembered.

The World War I Centennial Commission will celebrate the inaugural raising of the flag Friday morning at 10 a.m. in Washington, D.C.

“I think they started, the one hundred anniversary of the end of the war, which was 2018. and probably construction delays, so it is heartwarming to see, that they are drawing attention to the memorial, and they’re having that flag unveiling,” Jim Davenport of the Dunmore Rotarians WWI Monument Committee said.

Davenport and his fellow Rotarians was instrumental in getting a World War I memorial in Dunmore a few years ago. He is thrilled that those who served in the Great War will be remembered in perpetuity in the nation’s capitol.

“A lot of our soldiers [from Lackawanna County] passed and were buried in France. There was no memorial here. So, we wanted to have a memorial on our own soil for the sons of Lackawanna County who were lost in World War 1, approximately 260 names are on this monument,” Davenport said.

Davenport’s grandfather, Robert Baird, who survived the war, cherishes the many local ties to the more than century-year-old war.

“My man, my grandfather, my mother’s father served as an officer in World War I, he was trained as a pilot. I was very close [to my grandfather], he passed years ago, I can still get choked up, but he was my hero,” he said.

Jim feels the national World War I memorial is fitting to the hundreds of thousands of Doughboys who did not come home.

“So it is heartwarming to see that people remember the sacrifice of our veterans, so yes I am very happy to see that memorial,” Davenport said,

The national World War I monument will be a testament to the nearly 117,000 American casualties in 1914 to 1918. A virtual inaugural flag raising will take place Friday morning.

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