2018 will mark 100 years since the ending of WWI, and Clarke County has already put together a 100th anniversary committee to plan events and memorials to commemorate it.
“A lot of people may not realize about WWI is how much of an impact it had on world history, this was a war for the first time that chemical weapons are used, new technology, new types of bombs, both sides thought this war would only last for months but instead it last for years,” Nathan Stalvey of Clarke County Historical Association says.
Stalvey says many people don’t realize how many Clarke County residents were involved in the historical war. The association recently opened their “Clarke County During World War I” exhibit to honor and tell the stories of some of the more than 200 Clarke County residents who served in the war.
“I looked at the calender and said hey the hundredth anniversary of the end of WWI is coming up and we have a pretty massive collection at of WWI artifacts here at the historical association so its a no brainer,” Stalvey says.
But not only are the associations pre collected attracts on display, many descendants of those who fought in the war donated items for the exhibit.
“If you see the name Enders pop up, enders was somebody who fought in WWI, we have some of his artifacts on display, you see the Enders and Shirley funeral home, and Enders fire department, that family is tied to the enders that fought in WWI,”Stalvey says.
There were over 18 million causalities in the war, including some of those from Clarke County. Stalvey says he’s honored to help share their stories with those who visit the museum.
“Its an aspect of Clarke county history that a lot of people might not know about and what better way to kick it off then with this wwi exhibit and to see people come in and learn a bit more about things they they didn’t know before, that to me is just very rewarding,” Stalvey says.
The exhibit is open to the public at the historical association Tuesdays through Fridays.