Category Archives: Event

Reminder: WWI Memorial Dedication tomorrow (Sunday, Nov. 11) at 11:00am

Please join us tomorrow (Sunday, November 11 at 11:00am)  at the Fort Caswell Rifle Range for the dedication of the Brunswick County WWI Monument and the National WWI Centennial Memorial: 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range.

For more information, please read the posted Invitation and download the program: Veterans Day 2018 WWI Centennial Commemoration

A few requests:

★ Please park only in condo parking lots.

★ Do not park along the road.

★ Arrive early for parking.

★ Dress warmly. Metal chairs will be very cold due to low temperatures tomorrow morning.

Thank you to the community for joining to honor the sacrifices of the World War I veterans of Brunswick County and the wonderful support in achieving national memorial status for the rifle range!

The Fort Caswell Rifle Range is located inside the Caswell Dunes subdivision, Caswell Beach, next to Oak Island Golf Course.

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Installing the Brunswick County WWI Monument

Cyrus McAlister and Rashid Johnson from Cole Monument Works in Whiteville returned today to place the monument on the base.

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Installing the base for the Brunswick County World War I Monument

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WWI Centennial Commemoration program available

The Dedication of the WWI Monument
and the
Dedication of the Fort Caswell Rifle Range World War I Memorial

Sunday, Veterans Day, November 11, 2018
11:00am

Click here to view the program:
Veterans Day 2018 WWI Centennial Commemoration

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Invitation to the Dedication of the WWI Monument on Veterans Day 2018

Please join us

in Commemorating the Centennial of the end of WW I
with the dedication of the

Brunswick County World War I Monument

at 11:00 am on Sunday
Veterans Day, November 11, 2018
at the site of the

National WWI Centennial Memorial:
1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range

in Caswell Beach, NC.

The program will be available soon and will include these special presentations:

  • Roll Call of the 23 Brunswick County men who sacrificed their lives during World War I.
  • The firing of Southport Historical Society’s cannon “Thor.”
  • Roll Call of 150 Brunswick County WWI veterans, a continuation of the list of 724 that began at the April 6, 2018 recitation commemorating the start of the war.

Special Guests will include descendants of Pvt Harvey T. Chadwick, one of the men from Brunswick County who made the ultimate sacrifice during WWI while breaking the famous Hindenburg Line on September 29, 1918.

Priceless heirlooms from the Chadwick family will be available for viewing, including the American flag that draped his coffin when his remains were returned in December 1921, and the Certificate of Appreciation for his sacrifice.

If you are a descendant of a Brunswick County WWI veteran and would like to be recognized or share WWI photographs or artifacts, please contact Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range.

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Report on NC 4th of July Festival Booth

On Tuesday, July 3rd, at the Southport, NC River Front Park on Bay Street during the three day NC July 4th Festival in Southport, the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range set up their Community Non-Profit Spotlight Booth.

Russ Barlowe (Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range VP) sat in a patriotic setting with a red, white and blue banner displayed across the front of a table. “Help save the rifle range” and “Honor a Brunswick County WWI Veteran” were clearly visible.

Russ was dressed in patriotic clothing under a bright red umbrella with a table covered in stars and stripes to answer questions about the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range, dedicated to preserving the WWI rifle range located on Caswell Beach. Dana Majernik and Cindy Harriet Etchison assisted during the 4 hours as people visited the booth asking questions about the rifle range and where it was located.

Visitors honored Brunswick County World War I soldiers by making a donation, then receiving a certificate and NC WWI Service Card with the soldier’s military information. Note cards featuring Helen Radcliffe’s water color of the rifle range and 5 X 7 prints were available for purchase. Individuals made contributions and received a pamphlet telling the historical story of the 100 year old structure. Cards with information on how to contact the Friends group were given to visitors.

Each year the Southport/Oak Island Chamber of Commerce offers one local non profit each day of the celebration to share their story. The Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range thank the chamber for the opportunity to be featured this year.

Several donations were received to honor a Brunswick County WWI veteran:
Robert & Pamela Schottfeld: Fireman First Class Charles Cox
Susan & Vincent Mercurio: Private Joseph Clemmons
Lori & Dave Testa: Private Lawrence Smith
Russ & Ann Barlowe: Private James Fair
Dana Majernik: Private Julius Clemmons

Thank you for the donations!

See the updated Contributors page and the Honor a Brunswick County WWI Veteran: Donors for all of our wonderful supporters!

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Booth at the 2018 NC 4th of July Festival in Southport

Visit Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range VP Russ Barlowe and other Representatives on

Tuesday, July 3, at Waterfront Park

in the Community Non-Profit Spotlight Booth from 11:00am – 5:00pm.

Available at the booth:
  • Notecards for sale, 5 for $5.00, featuring Helen Radcliffe’s gorgeous watercolor of the rifle range.
  • 5×7 prints for sale, $12.00
  • Certificates to Honor a Brunswick County WWI Veteran for a donation.
  • Pamphlets about the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range
  • Business cards
  • Forms to support the rifle range
  • Information about various events from past and future by the non-profit, which can be found on this website:
    • Recitation of Brunswick County WWI veterans at commemorations throughout the year
    • Designation as a National WWI Centennial Memorial
    • Onsite memorial plans
    • Book to be published (names are being collected of those interested in purchasing the book)

For more information about the festival, visit http://www.nc4thofjuly.com/
Events calendar and map here.

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The Final Derby Day Fundraiser

The fundraiser was a great success.

Thanks to the special volunteers, donors, business donors, and supporters of the Fort Caswell Rifle Range, the fundraiser was full of fun and a success at raising money to continue with the stabilization.

Supporters arrived, with many dressed for the Derby. Prizes were given later in the day for costumes and hats.

Volunteers registered those attending, sold dinner tickets, and offered both Kentucky Derby tickets and tabletop race tickets during the day.

During the festivities, an uninvited visitor (small alligator) watched from outside.

Ten members of Brunswick Town Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, and supporters of the Fort Caswell Rifle Range, attended.

One corner was a reminder of those we honor as we save the historic structure in the neighborhood. The Doughboy Wall was overflowing with Brunswick County WWI Veteran names; next to it, the insignias of their divisions and special units could be viewed. This is a copy of a recruiting poster from 1919.

The new baskets for silent auction were appreciated by all who attended. Helen Radcliffe, pictured here in her Derby attire, watches pensively as attendees look at goodies in the baskets she created. Helen’s hard work resulted in a big boost to the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range. This table displayed many baskets; however, the entire room was overflowing with them!

More items for sale, made by a distant supporter of the rifle range.

The tabletop races were enjoyed by all.

Dinner and cake was served before the official Kentucky Derby.

The thermometer is going to need an update soon!

We’ll be sharing our thanks to volunteers, donors, and local businesses in the coming days. Thank you!

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NC State’s Belltower Centennial Event

Poppies at the North Carolina State University Belltower Centennial Ceremony

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

~ from the poem “In Flanders Field” by John McCrae

The ceremony at North Carolina State University’s Belltower mentioned in yesterday’s post included the recitation of the poem, while surrounded by a mixture of thousands of real and artificial poppies, shown above, the internationally recognized symbol of remembrance.

Jerry Hester, military veteran and NCSU alumni (class of 1935), who was appointed to the WWI Centennial Commission by President Obama, presented the university with a 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar.

The 40-minute ceremony also included a singing of the national anthem, an invocation, the laying of a wreath at the base of the tower and “Taps” in memory of the 34 NC State students and alumni who died while serving our country in World War I.

The ceremony ended with a 21-gun salute and a flyover of F-15 fighters from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, which alarmed nearby residents who were unaware.

Read an account of the ceremony and view the great pictures published in the North State Journal.

The North Carolina State University Belltower was designated an official WWI Centennial Memorial last year during the first round of the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials program.

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Countdown to the Derby Day Fundraiser: 4 Days

The 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range was recently designated a National WWI Centennial Memorial.

Who has the authority to designate National WWI Centennial Memorials?

The WWI Centennial Commission was established by the World War One Centennial Commission Act, passed by the 112th Congress and signed by the President on January 16, 2013. The WWI Centennial Commission Act gave the Commission, among other things, the authority to designate memorials to the service of members of the United States Armed Forces in World War I

Who serves on the WWI Centennial Commission?

The Centennial Commission is composed of 12 members:

Three members appointed by the Speaker and minority leader of the US House of Representatives, three members appointed by the majority and minority leaders of the US Senate, three members appointed by the President, one member appointed by the executive director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, one member appointed by the executive director of the American Legion, one member appointed by the president of the Liberty Memorial Association.

The 100 Cities / 100 Memorials program, which named the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range a WWI Centennial Memorial, is sponsored by the US World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library with support from the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The Daughters of the American Revolution is a WWI Centennial Commission partner.

How did the rifle range earn the designation?

A proposal to the WWI Centennial Commission was created using all of the information from the past seven years found on this website. This includes the Stabilization, History, Fundraising, News, WWI Wall of Honor pages, and the Honor a Brunswick County WWI Veteran program.

How many memorials were designated in the United States?

100 memorials in the United States were designated Official WWI Centennial Memorials. The list may be found here.

How many in North Carolina?

There is only one other memorial designated as an official WWI Centennial Memorial in North Carolina. The North Carolina State University’s Belltower in Raleigh was also designated. The Memorial Tower was built to honor NC State’s alumni who were killed in WWI.

Today, May 1, 2018, a full military ceremony will be held at the Belltower in Raleigh. It includes a 21-gun salute and a flyover of F-15s from the 4th Fighter Wing stationed at Goldsboro’s Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. 1000 blooming poppies, planted by a horticulture science class, will be in planters surrounding the belltower.

“We want to wake up the area with North Carolina’s major event to celebrate the Centennial Commission,” says Hester, a 1953 NC State graduate and retired U.S. Air Force veteran. “We have the nation’s only belltower that is dedicated to students [and alumni] who sacrificed everything in World War I.

“They deserve to be remembered with an event like this.”

The Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range will have members attending and plan to share pictures in tomorrow’s post.

Click here for more information about the Derby Day Fundraiser to support the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range.

Stay tuned…

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