Establishing the American Way of Death: World War I and the Foundation of the United States’ Policy Toward the Repatriation and Burial of Its Battlefield Dead

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This thesis examines the policies and procedures created during and after the First World War that provided the foundation for how the United States commemorated its war dead for the next century. Many of the techniques used in modern times date back to the Great War. However, one hundred years earlier, America possessed very few methods or even ideas about how to locate, identify, repatriate, and honor its military personnel that died during foreign conflicts. These ideas were not conceived in the halls of government buildings. On the contrary, concerned citizens originated many of the concepts later codified by the ... continued below

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v, 158 pages : color illustrations, color map

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Hatzinger, Kyle J. August 2015.

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This thesis is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and one other and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 178 times , with 14 in the last month . More information about this thesis can be viewed below.

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  • Hatzinger, Kyle J.

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Description

This thesis examines the policies and procedures created during and after the First World War that provided the foundation for how the United States commemorated its war dead for the next century. Many of the techniques used in modern times date back to the Great War. However, one hundred years earlier, America possessed very few methods or even ideas about how to locate, identify, repatriate, and honor its military personnel that died during foreign conflicts. These ideas were not conceived in the halls of government buildings. On the contrary, concerned citizens originated many of the concepts later codified by the American government. This paper draws extensively upon archival documents, newspapers, and published primary sources to trace the history of America’s burial and repatriation policies, the Army Graves Registration Services, and how American dead came to permanently rest in military cemeteries on the continent of Europe. The unprecedented dilemma of over 80,000 American soldiers buried in France and surrounding countries at the conclusion of the First World War in 1918 propelled the United States to solve many social, political, and military problems that arose over the final disposition of those remains. The solutions to those problems became the foundation for how America would repatriate, honor, and mourn its military dead for the next century. Some of these battles persist even today as the nation tries to grapple with the proper way to commemorate the nation’s participation in the First World War on the eve of the conflict’s centennial.

Physical Description

v, 158 pages : color illustrations, color map

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UNT Theses and Dissertations

Theses and dissertations represent a wealth of scholarly and artistic content created by masters and doctoral students in the degree-seeking process. Some ETDs in this collection are restricted to use by the UNT community.

World War One Collection

Materials focusing on the WWI era from 1914 to 1918. In addition to materials that were actually created during the time period, the collection may include modern studies and commemorative works about the era.

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  • August 2015

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  • March 4, 2016, 4:14 p.m.

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  • Oct. 23, 2017, 4:04 p.m.

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Hatzinger, Kyle J. Establishing the American Way of Death: World War I and the Foundation of the United States’ Policy Toward the Repatriation and Burial of Its Battlefield Dead, thesis, August 2015; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804852/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .