During World War I, more than 100 men from the Ligonier Valley joined the military ranks in support of the U.S.
A century later, photographs of those veterans, along with more than 150 pieces of military memorabilia are on display in the Ligonier Valley Library.
The “Faces of Ligonier: Veterans of World War I” historic photography show will be on display through Nov. 18 in the Pennsylvania Room.
“Whether they know it or not, most people had someone in the family who served during World War I,” said Shirley Iscrupe, library archivist. “This show has had more universal appeal than any of our other shows.”
The reason could be the vast amount of photographs, military documents and memorabilia that was loaned to the library for the exhibit.
“More than 80 people loaned items for our display,” Iscrupe said. “And, items are still coming in. We just received a gas mask the other day.”
Iscrupe said 12 binders, filled with information about the Ligonier Valley World War I veterans will become part of the research library. Seven of the books contain information about the individual servicemen while three other books are filled with Ligonier Echo newspaper clippings written during the war. Another book contains copies of letters send from the battlefields of Europe to loved ones back in Ligonier.
Iscrupe said the idea to feature World War I for the 2014 show came quite by accident.
“Back in August 2013, we received a copy of the Westmoreland County Casualty List of 1917-1918, a photo of Fred Withrow and Will Tosh’s funeral card,” Iscrupe said. “Later that morning, we received the oval portrait of Albert Rector. I guess it was a message from God telling us the history show should be about World War I.”
Since the show began in September, there has been a steady flow of visitors. And, interest has not decreased.
“Last week we had 116 guests, this week we had 57. It has been averaging 80 visitors a week.”
There is still time to visit the historic photo show in the Pennsylvania Room through Nov. 18. Contact the library at 724-238-6451 for operating hours.
Deborah A. Brehun is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-238-2111 or [email protected].