Tuesday, October 21, 2014

World War I Veterans Memorial - Saint Adalbert Cemetery

Location: Saint Adalbert Cemetery, Niles, Illinois

Features: Monument on cemetery grounds.

History:  Before World War One Poland did not exist as a country.  It had been partitioned by surrounding nations, its territory broken apart and ruled by Germany, Austria and Russia.  With the outbreak of war in 1914, many hoped that Allied victory would see the restoration of Poland as a sovereign state.  The United States entered the war in 1917 and many Polish-Americans volunteered to fight in the US armed forces.  Additionally, many Poles from the United States and abroad volunteered to join the ranks of the Blue Army.  The Blue Army, or Haller's Army, was an independent unit of Polish soldiers who fought alongside the Allied forces in France with the objective of promoting a free Poland. The name Blue Army was taken from their distinctive blue uniforms, but they were also know as Haller's Army after the name of the Polish General, Jozef Haller, who commanded the unit.  With the Allied victory secured in 1918, Poland was restored as a nation.  This monument honors those from the Chicago Polish community who served in the United States Armed Forces during the First World War as well as those who volunteered to serve in the Blue Army.

Traveler's Notes:  2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One.   There is an overwhelming amount of new material on the subject released for the observance.  This may help bring about some new awareness to the events of the First World War which has been for the most part neglected.

Resources: Haller's Army Website, Saint Adalbert Cemetery

Veterans Memorial

Soldiers

Navy

Haller Army

Marines

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