Historical society hosts WWI program

BALDWIN — A program on the emotional causes and responses to World War I, titled “Nightmares in the Fields of Glory,” was recently presented at the Lake County Historical Society’s museum.

Presented by Cappy Fishbach and sponsored by the society and Pathfinder Community Library, the program began with a summary of how and why the conflict was initiated. Fishbach presented it was to be a war of glory, of proud fighting for your country, a war to end all wars and it would conclud within only a few months.

This was not to be the reality though. The war went on for four years, many thousands died and much of Europe was left in upheaval.

Fishbach shared several poems which told of the early pride in being a soldier who thought it an honor to die for his country. The tone of these early works was uplifting and bright in their description of idealistic patriotism. As the war progressed, conditions deteriorated and sentiments changed. Later poems now told of the horrors of war, the conditions in the trenches, of the dead and the dying and bitter disillusionment.

She went on to explain that WWI changed the world forever. It affected people’s thoughts, clothing and actions. Hemlines raised, the jitterbug replaced the waltz and The Roaring Twenties were just around the corner. The world changed from a serious methodical one to one of taking chances, she argued.

Photographs of Lake County WWI soldiers and personal artifacts from Joseph “Allie” Gibbs, grandfather of county resident Ken Gibbs, comprised a special display for the presentation.