High above the trenches, soldiers witnessed the beginning of military aviation, that would forever alter the shape of modern combat and made World War I unlike any other conflict in human history. November 2018, marks the hundredth anniversary of the end of World War I. Despite this landmark occasion, the “War to End All Wars,” as it was called at the time, has received very little attention.
Many of the St. Charles soldiers trained at Camp Grant in Rockford, though some were transferred closer to the east coast. Trainee George Vanderhoof wrote to his family in Wasco from Camp Merritt in New Jersey and claimed to be in the best health and mood of his life. This positivity exemplifies the experience of many men during their stateside training.
St. Charles men and women played a large part in the war effort both in Europe and at home, and this exhibit aims to bring their accomplishments and difficulties to light. Focusing on the local experience of this global tragedy, our Fall exhibition curated by the Amelia Deering (Summer Intern), Home Front: Echoes of the Great War will bring home the reality of a war often forgotten and overshadowed by the many conflicts of the later 20th century.