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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Van Buren in Crawford County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
 

First Three U.S. Deaths in WWI

 
 
First Three U.S. Deaths in WWI Monument image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 3, 2016
1. First Three U.S. Deaths in WWI Monument
Inscription.
In memory of
Merle D. Hay
Thomas Enwright
James B. Gresham

They were the first members of
the Expeditionary Army of the
United States in France to die
that we might live
stricken on the field of glory,
November 3, 1917.
Dulse et decorium est pro patria mori.
Originally erected by Sam Chew, November 1917.


(Translation of Latin phrase: "It is sweet and glorious to die for one's country."

 
Erected 1917 by Sam Chew.
 
Location. 35° 26.064′ N, 94° 21.336′ W. Marker is in Van Buren, Arkansas, in Crawford County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Main Street and South 4th Street. Click for map. Located in the bushes at the corner of Main and 4th Streets. Marker is at or near this postal address: 300 Main Street, Van Buren AR 72956, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Crawford County Vietnam Memorial (here, next to this marker); History of Hebe Statue (a few steps from this marker); Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); The Butterfield Stage Route
First Three U.S. Deaths in WWI Monument in bushes at corner of Courthouse lawn. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 3, 2016
2. First Three U.S. Deaths in WWI Monument in bushes at corner of Courthouse lawn.
(within shouting distance of this marker); Albert Pike School House (within shouting distance of this marker); Crawford County War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Fairview Cemetery (approx. 0.6 miles away); Fairview Cemetery Confederate Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Van Buren.
 
More about this marker. "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" is a line from the Roman lyrical poet Horace's Odes (III.2.13).

Unsure why this monument is here in Van Buren. None of the named are from Arkansas.
 
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia article on Merle Hay. (Submitted on August 9, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. Wikipedia article on Thomas Enright (Enwright). (Submitted on August 9, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
3. Wikipedia article on James Bethel Gresham. (Submitted on August 9, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
4. The First American Soldiers Killed in Action. (Submitted on August 9, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
5. The Pittsburgh-Post Gazette The Next Page: Finding Private Enright. A story of a forgotten hero. (Submitted on August 9, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.) 
 
Categories. MilitaryNotable EventsWar, World I
 
WWI monument is in far left background, to left of tree. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 3, 2016
3. WWI monument is in far left background, to left of tree.
Statue in foreground is a Confederate Soldier statue in front of the Crawford County Courthouse.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 172 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page was last revised on August 9, 2016.
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