This past year marked the 100th anniversary of America’s entrance into World War I, on April 6, 1917. What was hoped to be the “war to end all wars” turned out to be nothing of the sort, and stands instead as one of the great disasters of the 20th century, remembered mostly for the senseless and utter wasting of millions of young lives and the high idealism of those so wasted.
Prominent families in the Hudson Valley were not spared. Before the days of college deferments, smoking but not inhaling, and that sanctuary known as the Texas Air National Guard, the sons and daughters of elite families didn’t just talk the talk but actually walked the walk of service to higher ideals by responding to the twin calls of patriotism and the fight against tyranny. Sons drove ambulances, fought with the French, and, when the time came, enlisted in our own armed forces. Daughters went to France to act as nurses or work in relief organizations. Being away from the fighting, the daughters returned. But not all the sons. Continue reading