More than four thousand men and women from Cook County lost their lives in World War I. The Great War began in 1914 and pitted the Central Powers, led by Germany and Austria-Hungary, against the Allied Powers, led by Great Britain and France. The conflict claimed more than 17 million lives, left more than 20 million wounded, and shattered the illusions of an entire generation. The “war to end all wars” sowed the seeds for World War II and continues to influence our political landscape a century later.

The United States entered the war on the side of the Allies in 1917. Thousands of Cook County men served in all branches of the military, while many women volunteered as nurses with the army and the American Red Cross. Most served along the Western Front in France and Belgium, helping to end a bloody stalemate and achieve an Allied victory in 1918. Those who died were originally buried overseas, but many were later reinterred in Chicago-area cemeteries.

Learn more in this Google Arts & Culture story.

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