Barnesville resident shares books about the Great War
BARNESVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — A Barnesville man has found interest in two books handed down to him from his father that provide insight into what has been referred to as the “Great War.”
Elijah Kennedy, of Barnesville, said a book titled “Liberty’s Victorious Conflict — A Photographic History of the World War,” published in 1918 by The Magazine Circulation Co. Inc., Chicago, shows a detailed account of principal events of the first World War through authentic black and white photographs and illustrations. His second book, titled “Story of the World War for Young People” by William L. Nida, published in 1918 in Oak Park, Ill by the Hale Book Co., provides a “concise and simple” written story and timeline of the conflict that officially ended 100 years ago today.
Veterans Day — originally known as Armistice Day — is commemorated on Nov. 11 every year to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiegne, France. On the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, World War I came to an end. The war encompassed four years of conflict that included the United States. In addition to the soldiers who were wounded or killed, millions of civilians died from disease, starvation or exposure.
Kennedy, who served non-combat military duty in the U.S. Army for three years as a young man, said his books provide depict the first worldwide conflict that began between Austria-Hungary and Serbia in 1914. It grew to involve 32 countries.
“This is a complete picture story book of World War I, of how it began from the very beginning until the every end,” Kennedy explained while showing authentic black and white photographs and illustrations displayed throughout “Liberty’s Victorious Conflict.”
He said the book shows a wide range of photos — everything from the pictures of leaders of various counties involved the war to much more graphic pictures that show the “atrocities” of the war, including soldiers being executed. He said the book also shows how civilian populations were affected by the war.
One picture shows homeless Belgian war victims — men, women and children deprived of their belongings and sleeping on a straw floor. Many of the photographs show how the war was fought by ground, air and sea, including pictures of battleships made of concrete.
Kennedy said the “Story of the World War for Young People” explains about the rise of the German empire, how Europe prepared for the war and about the war efforts in different countries.
He said he will never truly understand why countries have to go to war.
“I have a large collection on different battles . . . on World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam,” Kennedy said. “But what I don’t understand is what madness is there that makes man want to kill each other.”
Information from: The Intelligencer, http://www.theintelligencer.net