Under heavy fire on the morning of November 11, 1918, local hero, Lieutenant Fred Cleavenger, a member of Company K and survivor of the Rain Day battle, was about to lead his soldiers on a charge against German machine guns, when the "blessed news" of the Armistice was spread through the lines:
"We took part in all of the last 11 days' fighting and had some wild raids. We were under particularly heavy fire the morning of November 11. I had just received orders to lead a charge against some machine guns, when the blessed news of the armistice drifted in. Weren't we glad, you can imagine it. The great hush from the roar of the cannons and machine gun fire to peace and quiet was broken by wild cheers and a very bedlam of rejoicing. Things were very much the same on the German side and you could see them streaming from their shelters, sending up flares. The armistice started on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month and I shall never forget these three 11s."
(Quoted from “Graphic Description of Battle” article, Waynesburg Republican, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, 2 January 1919, page 1, columns 7-8.)
Greene County's new World War I Memorial will be thus appropriately dedicated on the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, "on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" that we may also "never forget these three 11s."
We will join together to remember the more than 1,000 Greene County, Pennsylvania, men and women who left their homes to go to war, and particularly the 58 local soldiers who gave everything for their country.
A detailed agenda and program details will be added here as the event approaches.
PHOTO SOURCE: Greene County Historical Society (collection) / Waynesburg (Series), “Item # GCHS-AN027-0001-0089D: Parade to welcome returning WWI soldiers, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania,” Greene Connections, accessed June 24, 2018, http://greeneconnections.omeka.net/items/show/906.
Registration is not required, all are welcome to attend!
However, by taking a few moments to RSVP, you will assist us to plan and prepare for the event.