‘The Great War’ tells the story of World War I’s legacy, exploring how the war changed America and the world. This landmark 3-night event tells the story of America’s fight through unpublished diaries, memoirs, and letters from the Americans who experienced the Great War firsthand.
The letter pictured here, for instance, dates back to August 19, 1917, and was sent by Tennessee’s Alfred Robinson (16th Infantry Regiment) to his father. Robinson mentions how most of the soldiers in his regiment are “habitually broke” but doesn’t complain. Rather, the letter finishes with a moving declaration of patriotism, as Robinson writes of his enlistment, “I joined because my blood is as red as that of my ancestors who set the stars in Old Glory.” In a war fueled by nationalism, Robinson’s patriotism would be echoed by millions of soldiers––on both sides of the war.
Find out more about World War I’s legacy by tuning in to The Great War, a special 3-night event, premiering Monday, April 10th, at 9/8c on PBS. Learn more at pbs.org/thegreatwar.