UNG leading efforts of Georgia WWI Centennial

The Georgia World War I Centennial Commission has raised the money for a statue honoring Eugene Bullard, the first African-American fighter pilot, who flew for the French in World War I.
In the latest efforts to commemorate the centennial of World War I, Dr. Christopher Jespersen, dean of UNG’s College of Arts and Letters, was the keynote speaker on the war’s impact at an Armistice Day event at the Atlanta History Center.

Armistice Day, originally established to honor the veterans of WWI and now more commonly known as Veterans Day, is observed annually on November 11, the date fighting ceased in WWI.

The Georgia World War I Centennial Commission has been working for several years to mark a century since the war’s end. Dr. Billy Wells, senior vice president for leadership and global engagement at UNG, serves as the commission chairman, and Keith Antonia, associate vice president for military programs at UNG, is a commission associate.

With administrative support from the UNG Foundation, the group has raised the money for a statue honoring Eugene Bullard, the first African-American fighter pilot, who flew for the French in World War I. The statue will be placed at the Museum of Aviation next to Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Georgia.

Previously, a major effort involved updating the record of soldiers killed in the war to include African Americans who were previously not listed in the Georgia State Memorial Book. There are now 1,228 blacks listed.