It’s been almost 100 years since the end of World War I and the city of Savannah hopes to mark the important Centennial next year by getting many involved locally. “What we are hoping to do next year is a year long exhibit and we would really like to focus on Savannahians in World War I,” said Luciana Sprahcer,City of Savannah Library & Archives Director.
“The size and scope of that exhibit will depend on what people bring to us to share (with the community,” she told us. “I would also like to see people bring us stories about their family’s contribution to the war effort, either here in Savannah or actually going overseas and fighting on the front,so we can build up our research files.”
Sprahcer says in 1926, the city of Savannah dedicated a monument with 128 names (including the dead from Chatham County) the corner of what would become Waters and Victory Drive. “It was renamed Victory Drive and the palm trees were planted to become a memorial for World War I soldiers<” said Spracher. “So when you drive down Victory Drive and you enjoy the palm trees that is the memorial itself.”
The old monument now stands at Daffin Park near the corner of Waters and Victory. But Spracher says the city wants the effort next year to include the exhibit. “I think a lot of times, we talk very much about the Civil War and World War II and we kind of skip World War I and how does that play out at the local level and affect people at home? I think that’s sort of important to stop and reflect on,’ she told us.
Spracher also says it’s important to make sure everyone involved in history, is remembered. “I think we need to do more research to make sure that (our exicite) represents the full scope because I know a lot of times the African American story wasn’t really being told, so I’d like to see out of this effort that wemake sure that all names and all segments of our population were being represented. So hopefully, with this reearch and with this exhibit we might make sure that we are capturing everybody’s story.”
To lend an item to the exhibit or to learn more about the exhibit, call Spracher at (912) 651-6411 or email her at Lspracher@savannahga.gov