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Program at library remembers men lost in World War I


Maryland Secretary of Veterans Affairs George W. Owings III

Prince Frederick, MD - Lusby resident and writer Joyce Stinnett Baki noted that people entering and leaving the Calvert County Courthouse in Prince Frederick pass by the county’s memorial to residents who died in World War 1 all the time without realizing its purpose. The bronze work is approximately 8 feet high and depicts a woman holding a tablet. Engraved on the tablet are the names of 18 men—separated by race—who died during the two years, 1917 and 1918, when the U.S. was involved in the conflict in Europe. The monument put in place and dedicated in 1920.

Baki, who is writing a book about the 18 men, gave a gathering of local residents an overview of the monument’s history during a presentation Saturday, Nov. 10 at Calvert Library Prince Frederick.

“Calvert Library Honors WWI Veterans” was held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the “war to end all wars.” Calvert native, resident, Marine and Maryland’s Secretary of Veterans Affairs George W. Owings III, presided over the event. Owings presented a proclamation from Governor Larry Hogan to acknowledge the sacrifices of Calvert natives and residents who died in the conflict.

The president of the Calvert Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Michael Kent, noted that seven of the county’s predominately African-American churches have “adopted” the seven Black soldiers who died as a result of the war. Kent said information about each individual will hang on the church walls with hopes that their stories will inspire church youth to learn more about them.

Baki said in her research she discovered the Calvert County Commissioners—a three-man board at the time—took action in 1919 to make the memorial possible. A committee was formed and a bronze sculptor--Edward Berge—was hired. The names on the marker are George Armiger, Solomon Barnes, Alonza Brown, James Butler, Wallace Curtis, William T. Dorsey, Thornton Gormon, John Gross, Joseph S. Jones, Benjamin Kent, Arick L. Lore, William N. Marquess, Thomas J. Osborne, Reuben Pitcher, Murray A. Sherbert, Irving R. Stallings, Harry Sunderland and Charles Tongue.

“Warriors die twice,” said Owings, who explained the first time is their physical demise and the second is the last time somebody says their name. “They have not died. We have certainly kept the 18 alive here today.”

In addition to a slide presentation and remarks, the Naval Academy Brass Quintet provided patriotic and period piece music as part of the event.

Read more about the men from Calvert who lost their lives in World War 1 here.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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