In 1917-1918, 4.5 million Americans served in World War I. The “World War I Living History Project” honors the sacrifices and contributions of America’s last surviving WWI veterans. The producers traveled the country in search of the men and women who made the world — in President Wilson’s words — “safe for democracy.”
Twelve of these veterans, age 105 to 115, shared their reminiscences, humor and wit on a two hour radio special hosted by the late Walter Cronkite.
The program begins with an introduction to the events of 1914-1917 as narrated by Cronkite. It explores the political circumstances that precipitated the outbreak of war, and the advances in communication, armaments and transportation which led to an acceleration of hostilities. The war went quickly from the drawing rooms of the European aristocracy to the trenches, where the armies of Europe became enmeshed in a conflict in which the prevailing military strategy was to relentlessly deplete the manpower of the opposing army.
Listeners will hear first-person accounts from the veterans who participated in this project as they recall the events of 1917-1918. This special continues with portraits of the veterans themselves, their experiences and their attitudes toward the war some 90 years after the fact.
Join WITF for the “World War I Living History Project” on WITF 89.5 FM and 93.3 FM at 6 p.m. May 25.
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