Near South Vienna in Madison County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Ohio World War I Red Poppy
The Great War
2018 marks the centennial end of the Great War (1914-1918), known later as World War I.
The United States entered the war in April 1917 with the first troops arriving in Europe during the late fall of 1917. By the end of the summer of 1918, trained American troops in sufficient numbers reached the frontlines and helped turn the tide in the final Allied offensive, resulting in the end of fighting on November 11, 1918. Originally recognized as Armistice Day, Americans now celebrate November 11th as Veterans Day.
World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, but the United States Senate refused to ratify the treaty. The United States eventually signed separate peace treaties with Germany, Austria and Hungary.
In Memory of Ohioans Who Served
Ohioans actively participated in World War I and suffered great sacrifice as a result. Ohio draftees and volunteers formed the 83rd "Ohio" Division with Ohio's black soldiers serving in the segregated 92nd "Buffalo" Division. The Ohio National Guard became the 37th "Buckeye" Division. A
More than 154,000 men from Ohio were drafted into the military as part of this global conflict. In total, the state's commitment of draftees, volunteers and Ohio National Guardsmen exceeded 260,000. Approximately 6,500 Ohio troops were lost due to disease or wounds suffered during World War I.
Ohio's civilians supported the war effort at home, particularly through the Ohio Branch of the Council of National Defense where business and community leaders organized the growth and efficiency of industry and available labor in support of the war. Most state residents bought War Saving Stamps and Liberty Bonds to help finance the U.S. war effort. Families throughout the state tended their own victory gardens, canned vegetables, rationed wheat, sugar and coal, and recycled scrap clothing and metal, so the troops could be fed and equipped.
The third largest U.S. Army training camp in the United States — Camp Sherman — was located in Chillicothe in south central Ohio. After the war's end, Camp Sherman became one of the discharge and retraining centers for the returning troops.
Why the Poppy?
The flower filling this garden, known as the California Red Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), or the common poppy, is native to Europe and occurs frequently in cultivated fields, meadows and along roadsides.
Poppies thrived in the dirt of the battlefields and cemeteries and bloomed all over Europe after World War I. Scientists believed lime from the war rubble enriched the soils.
The poppy's connection and symbol for World War I arose from the wartime poem, "In Flanders Fields", written in 1915 by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, M.D. (Canadian Army), who composed the pom while serving on the front lines. The poem was reprinted extensively in the United States to build public support of America's entry into the war on the Allies side.
The American Legion adopted the poppy as its official flower on September 27, 1920, and its representation helped memorialize the victors who fought and died during World War I. A few years later, the American Legion began to distribute the poppies as a national program.
That program continues today as the American Legion frequently distributes poppies with a request to donate and support the future of veterans, active duty personnel and their families.
On Memorial Day and Veterans Day, millions of red crepe paper poppies, handmade by veterans, are shared with the public in exchange for a donation to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans.
All of Ohio appreciates organizations established and committed to assist veterans, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars. These organizations advocate on behalf of all veterans and honor their service.
ODOT Supports Veterans
The Ohio Department of Transportation is a proud supporter of our veterans and their families. ODOT actively encourages our veterans to join its workforce.
In particular, ODOT's veterans apprentice program helps connect former and active duty military service members to careers in highway maintenance. Learn more about the program on the ODOT website.
Erected 2018 by Ohio Department of Transportation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Environment • War, World I.
Location. 39° 56.388′ N, 83° 31.917′ W. Marker is near South Vienna, Ohio, in Madison County. Marker can be reached from Interstate 70 1.7 miles west of Ohio Route 56, on the right when traveling east. Marker is on the grounds of the South Vienna Rest Stop. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: South Vienna OH 45369, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Four Chaplains Memorial (approx. 1˝ miles away); Somerford Veterans Memorial (approx. 1˝ miles away); The Molly Caren Agricultural Center (approx. 4˝ miles away); Pleasant Township Veterans Memorial (approx. 5 miles away); First United Methodist Church (approx. 5.7 miles away); First White Settlers of Madison County (approx. 5.7 miles away); Madison County World War Roll of Honor (approx. 5.7 miles away); War Savings Stamps (approx. 5.7 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on September 19, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 19, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 68 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 19, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.