The 100 Year Anniversary: We Will Remember Americans’ sacrifices in World War I

“We will remember them” were the words spoken by many last Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Loras College Choirs Showcase in Christ The King chapel. Many know it is Veteran’s Day, but to some, it is nothing less than Armistice Day. 100 years ago, on Nov. 11, at the 11th hour, the First World War came to an end with the signing of an armistice. A war that had brought senseless killing and death to many had finally come to a close. Loras chose to offer up a concert in commemoration to the 100th anniversary of the end of this Great War, and as a way to honor those who had fallen.

In talking with Jeremiah Cawley, the director of the show, he said “The 100 years only comes around once you know. For me, having lived in the United Kingdom for two years, I was inspired by the annual traditions kept to honor those who had fallen. Coming to Loras in my first year, I wanted to bring some of this tradition back, and I felt as though it would be beautiful to incorporate with the choir here.”

Poppy flowers were handed out before the performance for all to wear. The poppy is a symbol of the First World I as a result of the famous poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae. Artillery was the primary weapon used throughout World War I, and it left the landscapes virtually destroyed. A poppy is a bright red flower that grows on uneven ground. Over time, the battlefields became covered in poppies as a result of all the artillery shelling, and appeared to resemble a field covered in blood.

In talking with President Jim Collins before the event, he said “Given the college’s history, we have the motto Pro Deo Et Patria (For God and Country), and we have had a number of our students serve in the World Wars. It was around that time when we had found the motto, so this is a historic and a significant moment for all who are involved.”

Jeremiah Cawley said, “There is a tradition that we carry with us, and we carry with us the love of our family members, and in part we are here because of them. It doesn’t matter how far we have to stretch back to do that remembrance. We owe it to them for what they did for us.”

The performance by both the Loras and Clarke choirs was something to remember by all. “I am just really pleased with what the students did. They worked really hard and have overcome every obstacle in their way. They sounded amazing tonight and I am absolutely pleased by their performance” said Cawley after the conclusion. The showcase was a beautiful event that truly honored those who gave their lives 100 years ago. Thus, we remember them.

They shall grow not old
As we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them
Nor the year condemn
At the going down of the sun
And in the morning
We will remember them.

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