Wheaton, IL – The First Division Museum at Cantigny Park is set to host a commemoration event on May 28 to mark the 105th anniversary of the Battle of Cantigny. This battle saw the U.S. Army’s First Division secure a victory against German forces who had taken control of the small French village, located 75 miles north of Paris, during World War I.
The day’s events will begin with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Visitors Center at 11 a.m. Brett Hawkes, the grandson of a Battle of Cantigny veteran, will then present “Cycling to Find My Grandfather’s Battlefields” at the Visitors Center Theater at 4 p.m. This presentation will follow his journey as he retraces his grandfather’s footsteps throughout France.
During the battle, the U.S. Army’s First Division successfully attacked and defeated German forces in the small village of Cantigny, 75 miles north of Paris. Colonel Robert R. McCormick, then Major McCormick, commanded the 1st Battalion of the 5th Field Artillery and led his unit in providing crucial weapon support. The experience had a major impact on Col. McCormick, who renamed his family estate “Cantigny” upon returning from his service in Europe.
The commemoration event will also feature drop-in activities for visitors to participate in educational WWI-themed activities, including family-friendly activities and viewings of oral histories from veterans of the Battle of Cantigny at the Visitors Center Theater from 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
The event is free, with paid admission, and open to the public. Visitors can learn more about the historic battle and its significance to America’s involvement in WWI. The commemoration provides an opportunity for families to honor the bravery and sacrifices of American soldiers and their impacts on history.