William N. Brown: The Right Way to Remember the Great War

Roundup: Talking About History

The writer is the president of the Association of the Oldest Inhabitants of the District of Columbia.

As we pause this Veterans Day to remember Americans who have served in the armed forces, I’d like to draw attention to an unresolved legislative issue that casts a shadow over an important moment of remembrance that will soon be upon us: the World War I centennial.

This year, Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.) finally set aside a long-standing attempt to “nationalize” the D.C. World War I Memorial on the Mall. Unfortunately, the plan Poe has put forward in its place isn’t much better. He now seeks up to $10 million to create a World War I memorial on the other side of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, in Constitution Gardens. The time and effort it would take to proceed with this initiative — not to mention the $10 million — would go a lot further if it were used instead to enhance the existing John J. Pershing Memorial and Pershing Park in time to mark the centennial of the Great War....

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