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Remembering Veterans

Civil War Confederate veterans. Photo from the State Archives.Each November 11,  Americans celebrate Veterans Day, which was once called Armistice Day. The date marks the end of World War I, fought by America in 1917 and 1918.

The United States was unprepared to fight a war in Europe. The army was small and short of men, weapons and equipment. President Woodrow Wilson used the draft to increase the size of the army. Training camps were set up, but there were not enough rifles, uniforms or artillery.

Soldiers had to practice with sticks for rifles and pine logs for cannon. It took almost a year before America had any troops ready to fight. North Carolina sent more 86,000 soldiers overseas to fight for the United States.

World War I, once called the Great War, is an important chapter in the history of both North Carolina and of the country at-large. At the time, Americans thought it would be the “war to end all wars.” But it was not.

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