“Hiked in a terrific down pour of rain. Weary and hungry without rations now 3 days. Wore gas masks continually.
Germans sending over plenty of Mustard and Phosgene Gas. Fell in shell holes and trenches and finally reached our destination. Bunked … in this down pour of rain. Soaked through and through. So played out, that I never slept any better in my life…”
~Diary of Wayne DeSilvey, 1st Bugler of Company I, 112th Infantry Regiment,
28th Infantry Division
Serving with the American Expeditionary Forces in France WWI
This Sunday, Nov. 11 is Veteran’s Day, although this year it will be observed on the following day, Monday Nov. 12. This day is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice – “On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.” The hostilities between the Allied countries and Germany had ended and World War I, often referred to as The Great War, was over. In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the day to be “filled with pride in the heroism of those who died … and gratitude for victory.”
Later, in 1926, the U.S. Congress recognized this day as one to be commemorated with “prayer and thanksgiving.” And also the president should “issue a proclamation … to fly the flag … and invite the people in the U.S. to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.” Powerful words!
As I dug deep into the history and personal accounts of World War I, the number of intact and detailed diaries kept by soldiers was impressive. And the conditions in which they were written even more so.
A common thread throughout the diaries was the weather. According to meteorological data, during WWI Europe experienced some extreme weather – record rainfall, above average snowfall and freezing temperatures. There is substantial scientific evidence the cause (of the weather) was war-related. This was based on the assumption that water vapor molecules attached themselves to particulates released into the atmosphere from ammunitions. Cloud formation occurs resulting in overcast, cooler temperatures and rain. This idea is along the same lines as “cloud seeding.” The consensus of opinions among scientist remains inconclusive, for the most part.
With survival foremost on the soldier’s minds, the likelihood of having a pen and paper down in the trenches on the battlefield amazes me. But in thinking further, I’ve concluded the desire of documenting their experiences in writing was a powerful one. This time in history would not be forgotten by future generations.
A cold low-pressure system from the Gulf of Alaska is moving southward. Temperatures are expected to drop 20 to 30 degrees! Chance of rain is only 30%, but the snow level at 3,000 feet. Too cold? Well, NE winds bring warm temperatures back into our area for the weekend.
Too hot? Cooler and cloudy days are forecast for next week.
Flag-flying weather: good!
Historical Weather for Nov. 8
High – 94 (1956)
Low – 38 (1945)