Years Later, WWI Fallen Etched in Memory

World War II veteran Theodore Webb takes a photo from behind Raymond Whitelow during the 70th annual tribute at the D.C. World War Memorial on the Mall.
World War II veteran Theodore Webb takes a photo from behind Raymond Whitelow during the 70th annual tribute at the D.C. World War Memorial on the Mall. (Photos By Kevin Clark -- The Washington Post)

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By Paul Duggan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, May 16, 2005

Earl Adams, Edward L. Adams, Alexander K. Anderson, Frederick Anderson, Louis C. Anderson.

They were young when the 20th century was young, and their names are chiseled on a memorial, a small one easy to overlook in grove of trees along the Mall.

Herman W. Dorr, Aloysius Dorsey, James W. Dorxey Jr., Julian Noyes Dowell, Albert Thomas Drake.

There were 487 District residents who died in World War I, and their names are inscribed without regard to race, sex or ethnicity. The memorial is the size of a bandstand, with Doric columns, set in a flagstone clearing off Independence Avenue SW between the Lincoln Memorial and the National World War II Memorial.

Each May since 1936, five years after the D.C. World War Memorial was dedicated, American Legion members and others gather to honor the men and women of the District who went off to the Great War and were felled by bullets and bombs, disease and poison gas.

They continued their tributes yesterday, for the 70th time.

Charles Henry, Enrique Hernandez, William Leland Hibbs, Edward S. Higdon, George Chaffee Hill.

About 30 people, many of them veterans of later wars, sat in folding chairs in a spitting rain as an Air Force band played a patriotic medley. Then the keynote speaker, Air Force Maj. Gen. Richard E. Spooner, took the microphone.

"We are here in the shadow of the Lincoln and Washington memorials, and not far from where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s immortal words -- 'I have a dream' -- still echo," Spooner said. "We have come together to honor another group of heroic men and women whose names are not as recognizable but whose deeds were equally as important.

"They were the best of their generation and of the new century," he said. "They were friends, neighbors, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, teachers, coaches, civil servants. They were part of the great melting pot of America."

John Francis Moriarty, John C. Morrison, Howard H. Morrow, Carl Joseph Munch, Beatrice T. Murphy.

Since President Herbert C. Hoover dedicated the memorial Nov. 11, 1931, "their spirit has borne witness to many great national accomplishments," Spooner said. "Were they living, they would have been proud of our achievement in overcoming the Depression that threw millions of Americans out of work."

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