Online Originals: WWI veterans honored in New Bern

Online Originals

The American Legion, a patriotic veterans group, was chartered by congress 100 years ago today on September 16, 1919.

In celebration of the day, the American Legion Post 539 and the New Bern Historical Society partnered up with the Craven County Department of Recreation and Parks on a special WWI Memorial Project.

It was unveiled this afternoon at 4 p.m.

It’s an update to the World War I monument which has sat outside the New Bern courthouse since 1944.

The two-part renovation included cleaning the 75-year-old obelisk and adding the names of sixteen Craven County residents who lost their lives in the war but were not originally listed on the monument.

Some of the sixteen names that were added to the monument.

The families of the soldiers added to the monument were honored at the ceremony today with flags.

“This was a re-dedication of the monument to honor those families who are descendants of those we recently placed on the monument,” said Mark Sandvigen, Vice Commander of the American Legion Post 539.

Research on this project has largely been done by Legionnaire, historian and Society member, Mark Sandvigen and by New Bern Historical Society Historian, Claudia Houston.

“It was fantastic,” said Sandvigen on finding the names. “We feel like we actually know these men. We read their service records. We literally got to know them. We know how they died, where they served.”

The pair have worked tirelessly sifting through records, lists and family histories in an effort to make sure no one is missed.

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