Thursday, April 30, 2015

World War One War Memorials on Chicago's North Shore: More in Evanston

There are a lot of World War One memorials in Evanston!  As I continued my research, I found more and more information.  In fact, I found enough information to write a third blog post about Evanston. and about the outcome of the war in Evanston.  Watch this space next week.

Evanston Township High School

The memorial elms on the new campus of Evanstson Township High School which opened in 1924. Photo: History of ETHS, 1883-1958 by M.C. Davis



The Memorial Elms

  In 1924, when the new campus of Evanston Township High School opened its new buildings at 1600 Dodge Ave, The Evanston Garden Club planted 80  Elm trees High School as a memorial to the students who lost their lives in World War One. The Club maintained the Elms  until 1951.  The rows of trees grew and thrived, unfortunately, they were killed by Dutch Elm disease, and were no longer there when I attended the high school in the 1960.

The Oliver Baty Cunningham Award

An award honoring the World War One service of Oliver B. Cunningham was established at Evanston High School by his father Frank Cunningham. The award,  the highest award given to an outstanding male member of the graduating class is still given today. It is given to a student who ranks first in his class in all around qualities, including intellectual ability, capacity for leadership,  sense of responsibility and  distinguished service to school and community.   Cunningham's portrait hangs outside the library at the high school.  He is also remembered in a stained glass window at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Evanston. 
Cunningham graduated cum laude from Yale University, where was awarded the Francis Brown Memorial Prize, given to the member of each Junior Class at Yale "who most closely approached the standards of intellectual ability, high manhood, capacity for leadership, and service to the university."

Captain Cunningham was buried in France, near the place of his death. He received both the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star Medal, which was awarded posthumously.  After his death, his father established the Oliver Baty Cunningham Publication Fund at Yale University Press was established, which continues to publish today.

Oliver B. Cunningham as a young man

 Lt. Oliver B. Cunningham

Northwestern University

The Memorial boulder on the north end of the Northwestern Campus. Photo: P. Noznick
There are several World War  One memorials on the campus of Northwestern University.  The oldest, dedicated in 1923 is a bronze plaque mounted on a granite boulder on the northern end of the campus, near the fraternity houses.  I'm not sure that it is in it's original location, since I read information that stated that the memorial was located in the avenue of the elms north of Patton Gymnasium.  There is a row of trees nearby, but I doubt that they are the original elms.  I also noticed is that some of the names in the  Northwestern World War I list are also on several memorials in Evanston.
The second memorial on the campus is a plaque located in the lobby of the Alice Milar Chapel.

The bronze plaque memorializing Northwestern students who lost their lives in the Civil War and World War One. Photo: P. Noznick 

Friday, April 24, 2015

World War One War Memorials on Chicago's North Shore: Evanston IL

Evanston, my hometown,  is one of the oldest and largest of Chicago's suburbs.  There are three War Memorials in town, one dedicated only to World War One, the others include all the Wars from the Civil War to the Viet Nam War.

St Luke's Church 1921

Evanston's oldest War Memorial is at  St Luke's Episcopal Church and was dedicated in 1921. It is the only memorial that commemorates World War One. It is also the largest memorial and is integrated into the design of the church.

A granite boulder with a bronze plaque attached  commemorates the planting of an elm tree on Armistice Day (November 11) 1921.    The tree is long gone, a victim of Dutch Elm  Disease, which killed most of Evanston's American Elm Trees.  The memorial is extensive and includes the figure of a dough boy  and a cloister displays the names of five church members who died in World War One.  It also lists the battles in which The American Expeditionary Forces participated.

The World War One Dough boy watches the courtyard below him.

The stones on the cloister are labeled with the names of  the church members who died in the War and the major battles.    














Patriot Park 1929

The War Memorial in Patriot Park on Evanston's Lakefront.
A memorial for all Evanston residents who died in war was installed in 1929 in Patriot Park on the lakefront.  A flagpole with a bell shaped base included the names of the people who died in the Civil War, The Spanish American War and World War One.  The memorial was erected by the Fort Dearborn Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.  The bronze frieze was designed by sculptor Steven Beames in 1929.  Inscribed on the frieze is  the following phrase:

     "May the memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice live forever in the Hearts of the   People."

The soldiers of all the wars march around the  frieze.

Below the frieze is a list of 41 residents of Evanston who died  in World War One.














Fountain Square 1949

War Memorial in Evanston's Fountain Square, installed in 1949.
The central business district of Evanston, Fountain Square, was experiencing traffic circulation problems after World War Two. As a result, Fountain Square was redesigned and included a War Memorial.  The large granite fountain was dedicated on Armistice Day in 1949.  It was designed by architect Hubert Burnham  with three fountains  and listed all Evanstonians who died in wars from the Civil War to World War II. 



Fountain Square 1976

In honor of the Bicentennial of the United States in 1976,  Fountain Square was redesigned again.  The granite fountain was removed and replaced by a three fountain complex with three brick piers which listed the names of Evanston residents who died in the wars, starting with the Civil War and ending with the War in Viet Nam.

War Memorial, dedicated in 1976, in honor of the Bicentennial.

The tallest pier, in the center, lists those who died in World War Two, the pier to the left lists those who perished in the Civil War, Spanish American War and World War One.  The pier on the right list those who died in the War in Viet Nam.
This fountain complex is now in disrepair, and plans are underway to rebuild the Memorial and restructure Fountain Square.

Friday, April 17, 2015

World War One Memorials on Chicago's North Shore: Kenilworth and Winnetka

When I lived in New Zealand thirty years ago, I was struck by the number of World War One Memorials I ran across as I traveled about the country.  Most of them were in small towns, usually a large monument with a statue of a soldier and the names of the men killed in the war listed on a plaque.  Almost everyone monument said "For King and Country 1914-1918" I have always been interested in World War One, and I found these monuments touching.  New Zealand is a small country, and in 1914, had a population of about one million.  So many young New Zealand men died in a war so far away from their home.  I spent a few weeks in New Zealand earlier this year, and found time to see a few war memorials.    Seeing them made me want to find the World War One memorial in my own community.

What a disappointment.  My home village, Wilmette IL, does have a memorial, but it is relatively new and just lists the names of  Wilmette soldiers who died in wars from the Civil War to the Iraq War. Two nearby communities were more interesting.  Kenilworth, IL, a  much smaller village than Wilmette has an interesting memorial next to the village hall, and Winnetka, IL, has a large memorial on their village green.

The War Memorial in front of the Village Hall in Wilmette IL

Kenilworth, Il, just north of Wilmette, has two memorials, one a plaque, honoring the Kenilworth Soldiers who died in World War One, and another nearby, honoring the dead from World War Two and the Korean War.
The plaque, mounted on a granite boulder sits in a garden designed and planted by members of a local garden club.  It was designed by the Czech sculptor, Albin Polasek,  It was donated by Charles and Fannie Manierre Ware, the parents of one of the soldiers, Manierre Barlow Ware who died in 1918.  A short inscription completes the plaque.

The Kenilworth plaque, designed by Albin Polasek.
    "Let us make earth a garden where deeds of the valiant may blossom and bear fruit."

Kenilworth's World War Two and Korean War Memorial.

The monument in Winnetka IL larger and more imposing that the one in Kenilworth.  It is a marble cenotaph, on the Village Greeen, surrounded by a marble exhedra and a large flagpole. Dedicated in 1927 and renovated in 2009, it was designed by Winnetka architect and resident Sam Otis.  
The names of the five Winnetka Soldiers who died in World War one are inscribed on the back of the cenotaph.

A cenotaph is an "empty tomb" erected in honor of a person or group of persons whose remains are elsewhere.  Although the monument was built to honor those who died in World War One, plaques listing the names of those who died in other wars, from the Civil War to the War in Iraq have been added.

The front of the cenotaph and flagpole, decorated with a carved frieze and an inscription from Dinsmore Ely.

The monument features a narrative  frieze telling the story of soldiers in World War One, and an inscription by Dinsmore Ely, a Winnetka resident who died in the war.  He wrote this comment in a letter to his family, shortly before he died.

"It is an investment not a loss when a man dies for his country."

 The following pictures are from the narrative frieze on the Winnetka memorial.

First half of a large panel showing a battlefield.
Second half of the panel showing a battlefield. 
Honoring Veterans of the War.

Friday, April 10, 2015

World War One: The United States Turns the Tide of War.

Although  War  War One began in August 1914, the United States didn't get into the fight until 1918.
The United States was very hesitant to get involved in the war.  After all, it was a European conflict, and we didn't have any reason to jump in. 
President Woodrow Wilson ran for reelection in 1916 on the slogan "He Kept Us Out Of War."  But the situation in Europe was a stalemate, no one was winning, and the war kept grinding on.  The Americans were sending aid to Great Britain, but were not interested in joining the conflict.
In 1917, the Germans resumed submarine warfare, which they had stopped for two years. Russia, an ally of Great Britain and France withdrew from the War since the Bolsheviks gained control of the government in  the October Revolution. Germany was able to withdraw troops from the Eastern Front and concentrate on defeating Great Britain and France on the Western Front.

The United States entered the War on April 6, 1917, almost three years after it began.  President Wilson had campaigned on a platform of keeping the United States out of war, but after the  Germans resumed submarine warfare, withdrew from the Eastern Front and meddled in Mexican politics, war was declared. 

Germany offers Mexico part of the United States in exchange for joining the war and attacking the United States.

Wilson said that we were getting into the War to shape the peace--"To make the world safe for democracy."  

The first US soldiers arrived in Europe in the summer of 1918, under the command of General John J. Pershing.  About four million soldiers were mobilized. By this time, the Allied European forces were worn down by years of fighting.  The United States soldiers turned the tide of the War. 

The War ended with an armistice, not a surrender.  All sides agreed to lay down their weapons and go home.

Although American soldiers helped to turn the tide of the war, and enabled the Allies to win, the United States did not suffer from deaths and casualties like the Europeans did.  Germany lost the greatest number of soldiers, followed by Russia, France and Austria-Hungary.  Approximately 110,000 United States soldiers died in the War, 43,000 from the influenza epidemic.

In 1919 the victors met in Versailles, France to work out a peace treaty.  Germany was not allowed to participate.  Wilson presented a plan, called the Fourteen Points, which he hoped would bring about a lasting world peace. Instead the European powers led by France, decided to punish Germany. A League of Nations was created to help sort out world problems, but it was given no real power.

The Treaty required Germany to repay The French for all War damage.

One of the results of the Versailles Treaty was to break up the Ottoman Empire and Germany's  Empire and create a new world map.  This created a lot of new and weak countries in Europe and the Middle East.

Contrary to Wilson's hopes, the War did not make the world safe for democracy.  Epidemics, starvation, inflation, The Great Depression, and The Russian Revolution followed the War. The United States refused to sign the Peace Treaty and to join the League of Nations.  Twenty years later in 1939, War broke out again in Europe. 

Interested in more World War One information?  Check out these blog posts.
World War One Comes to Galicia
World War One in Galicia: Katherine's STory
World War One in Galicia: The Russian Occupation
Living on a Battlefield: Katherine's World War One STory
LIving on a Battlefield: Katherine's Story Continues

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Pysanky Decoded.

Pysanky from the collection of the Ukrainian Museum of New York

How do pysanky link the past with the present?  Each pysanka is a work of art, created by a person for a reason.  For many, it is to connect with their Ukrainian heritage, for others, it is to create a gift for family or friends, others make pysanky for fun and profit, or to sell for church fundraisers.

Every pysanka  tells a story, and the symbols commemorate an ancient heritage that existed before Christianity was  brought to Ukraine by Volodymyr, ruler of Kiev in the tenth century.  The eggs above, from the Ukrainian Museum of New York,  illustrate the many symbols used in Ukrainian pysanky.
The pysanky below are from my own collection, unless noted.  Most were made by either my mother, my grandmother and my aunts, and members of St Michael's Ukrainian Orthodox church in Minneapolis.  They were made between the 1930's and 1970's.  Almost all of them are unsigned, and only a few are dated.

Scevemorphic Symbols

 Scevemorphic symbols are items used in daily life in Ukraine.  The most common are the sieve, which is a triangle or square filled with cross-hatching.  It stands for plowed  fields, something that was done in the spring.  Other symbols are rakes and combs which signify the hope for a good harvest. The ladder represents prayers sent by the people to heaven.
The pysanka uses the rake cross and flower symbols.

Triangles filled with crosshatching are sieves, representing plowed fields.

Zoomorphic symbols

Zoomorphic symbols are animals, and each animal stands for a characteristic or idea.  The animals are not realistic, they usually are stylized or simplified. Fish are a symbol of Jesus and Christianity. Birds, and bird eggs are symbols of spring and the rebirth of nature, they are also messengers from heaven.  The deer is a sign of prosperity and long life.  Two deer with a tree between them symbolizes the tree of life.  Horses stand for strength, endurance, wealth and prosperity.  They are also associated with the sun, pagan Ukraine, it was believed that horses pulled the carriage of the sun across the sky.

The ram, a common animal on pysanky,
indicates strength, leadership, dignity 
and perseveranc.
Deer on each side of a pine tree symbolizes the Tree of Life.
It also has an eternity band symbolizing water, squares and 

Deer combined with a cross, pagan and
Christian symbols on the same pysanka.

This pysanka may be the oldest in my collection.

Plant and Flower Symbols

Plants are frequently used on pysanky, but are stylized.  Plants symbolized spring and return of nature and the hope for a good harvest.    The most common flowers painted are the daisy, sunflower, and carnation.  The periwinkle flower is not used, only the leaves, which are shown as three or four leaves on a stem. The pussy willow, which are used  in Ukraine instead of palms on Palm Sunday, is  a very popular motif. Wheat and poppies are often used outside of Ukraine, but were not used on traditional pysanky.  Many of the flowers are just generic flowers, no specific plant is depicted.

This pysanka shows a flower that resembles a poppy. 

Stylized flowers are used on this modern pysanka.

Wheat is the main motif on the pysanka 
 that also uses crosshatched squares.

This pysanka, painted by my mother in the 1940's, a band of stylized flowers which are connected to an eternity band.

Eternity Bands 

The eternity band is a line that never ends.  It can also be shown as a wave, ribbon or meander.  All three eggs below use  a either the wave or the meander.  Eternity bands symbolize that God/Jesus has no beginning or end.  Before Christianity, eternity bands meant waves of water and immortality.
A pysanka in the Trypillian style.  The ancient Trypillians 
may have painted pysanky, but no examples have been 
found.  These designs come from Trypillian pottery.

This pysanka uses the meander pattern eternity band.

A Trypillian style pysanka, with an eternity band.

Geometric Symbols

Geometric symbols are used on most pysanky.  They include triangles, diamonds, lines, dots and squares.
Triangles meant trinities like the air, water and fire, or the circle of life in prehistoric times.  Diamonds signified knowledge, dots stood for seeds or bird's eggs, which were signs of spring and of nature coming alive after winter. In Christian Ukraine, triangles symbolized the Holy Trinity.
 Squares and diamonds.
Triangles are the main motif on this modern pysanka.

Triangles and stars.The dots inside the
triangles stand for seeds, a sign of spring
and the rebirth of nature.
 Diamonds and stylized flowers, The eight
pointed star represents the sun.

Christian Symbols

Symbols on used on pysanka today carry Christian meanings, but most of them have pagan origins.  Only the cross and the church are actual Christian symbols.  The Greek cross is used most often, but some pysanka use the  Ukrainian Orthodox Cross.  The Greek Cross has two bars, which intersect, making all parts equal in length The eight sided star is often combined with the Greek cross.  
The star and cross combination.

Fish, sieves and flowers are used as 
well as a wave eternity band.
This eggs, painted, signed and dated by my grandmother, shows the Orthodox cross and the Easter greeting, Christ had Risen, written in Ukrainian.  She was 76 years old when she painted this egg.

A church in the Ukrainian style.  
Source: Wikipedia.

Cosmological Symbols

The sun is ubiquitous on both traditional and modern pysanky.  The sun is shown as a closed circle without rays.  The eight sided star is also a symbol of the sun.  It represented life and warmth in pagan times.  To Christians is represents the love of God. The windmill  or broken cross is also a sun symbol, showing the sun's progress across the sky.
Windmill pattern combined with plant motifs.
Eight pointed star with small circles whichindicate seeds.

Windmill pattern on the bottom of the pysanka.

The eight pointed star is shown several ways on this pysanka. 
The small circles next to the points of the star may also be
 sun symbols. Plant motifs are also used.


 The pysanky in this picture illustrated the types of eggs commonly used.From left to right: a brown egg, a chicken egg, goose egg, pullet (young chicken) egg.

For more information click on the links below: