August 12, 2014 at 3:17 AM
A five-part series titled “The Great War: A Tribute to the Lost Generation” kicks off for the public for free Tuesday night at 7 at the Lansdale Parks and Recreation Building at Lansdale Avenue and Seventh Street.
The program is being presented by Lansdale resident and avid World War I historian Mike Sobel.
“It’s right on the 100th Anniversary mark,” said Councilwoman Mary Fuller during last week’s Lansdale Public Library Committee report to council. “Thanks in advance to Mike for putting the time and energy into that.”
Subsequent sessions will follow on Aug. 19, Aug. 26, Sept. 2 and Sept. 11 at Lansdale Public Library’s Lynn Janoff Memorial Room.
Fuller said Sobel will have exhibits and such on display during the presentations.
He plans to cover it all: the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, in Bosnia, by a Bosnian Serb; the Japan-Russia War in 1905; royal relatives; alliances; the roles of England and Italy; Belgian neutrality; the 1870 Franco-Prussian War; the Zionist movement; the Russian Revolution, an unrestricted submarine war; and Eddie Rickenbacker, to name a few topics.
Sobel will also provide a glossary of terms to help distinguish, for instance, the differences between a brigade, battalion and regiment.
The idea for the series was proffered by Sobel to the Lansdale Library Committee in March.
With the last surviving World War I veteran dying in 2012 at age 110—his name was Florence Green, a British man—Sobel believed it is of utmost importance to keep the real history of WWI alive. (Missouri's Frank Buckles was the last living U.S.. WWI vet, dying in 2011. The last living combat vet died in 2011 and the last living trench warfare soldier died in 2009. Both Brits).