by Geoff Fox
This coming Sunday, November 11, is Veterans Day and also the 100th anniversary of the end to a war that was to end all wars – World War I. And to commemorate the anniversary, there will be a WWI presentation at 4 p.m. in the Hancock Community Center.
Over the past few months, former Hancock mayor Dan Murphy and the Centennial Commission have been giving presentations of what life was like during the war, both at home and in Europe. Each month during the town meetings, Murphy would also give a snippet of what local soldiers were doing as they prepared for war and eventually in the war.
In his first presentation, Murphy has talked about the guns and uniform along with an in detail history of the Great War. He described it as heavy duty for those who aren’t into history.
In the second presentation, the Hancock Arts Council joined Murphy and presenting poetry from the time period, some of which was written by men on the battlefield.
The lighter stuff, he said, came in September. He talked about the human-interest stories of the war including the African American contributions to the war.
For his final presentation, Murphy is going to be doing a musical presentation of songs that were popular before the United States entered WWI and during the war.
Murphy said while the war lasted four and a half years from April 1914 until November 1918, the United States didn’t enter until spring of 1918.
“This will be an American story,” Murphy said about the final presentation.
The music in the presentation is what kept the moral up during the war.
The presentation, he said, would start with an overture of the kind of music played before the war started.
From there, Murphy said the music would be interlaced with stories about the song.
“Most of these songs come from 100 year old sheet music that I’ve got,” Murphy said.
One of the more famous songs from the period is also the theme of the presentation is called “Over There.”
Murphy said it won’t be a very long presentation, but it will be an exposure to the songs and tied together with what people were going through in the early parts of the 20th century.
While the presentation will be focused on WWI, the day won’t be lost for veterans.
Murphy said a free meal for veterans would be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hancock Untied Methodist Church that day and the Hancock Historical Society will have the museum in the basement of the Community Center will also be open from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. so folks can see the veterans display.
At the WWI presentation, Murphy said veterans would also be recognized as well.