The summer of 1914 was shaping up to be one of society’s most grand on record, yet the political grievances and secret ententes between European nations were escalating at a frantic pace. Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo and the long anticipated war among nations was given the necessary spark to begin. The United States President, Woodrow Wilson, made strenuous efforts to remain out of the Great War, yet was ultimately enveloped into the struggle in April of 1917. The impact was felt immediately as small towns across America gave up their sons and daughters to the service of their country. A typical example of this small town support is Ephrata, Pennsylvania, where twenty five World War I service members offered the ultimate sacrifice. Their names are now listed on the American Legion Cloister Post #429 Monument. Ephrata, Pennsylvania, known for the colonial era pacifist religious experiment of the Historic Ephrata Cloister, has served its country every time it has called. From supporting a casualty hospital during the battle of Brandywine, to providing one of the military’s greatest heroes of World War II, Major Dick Winters, Ephrata’s citizens have provided for the country it serves each time it was needed. This study is an attempt to bring forth the story of those Great War veterans through research of military and town records on the centennial of their deaths. The rediscovery of their lives and sacrifices provide a testament to the will and commitment of communities throughout our nation.
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