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100 Years Later: U.S. Leaders Honor Veterans of Great War

Nov. 13, 2018 | BY Terri Moon Cronk

President Donald J. Trump visited the Suresnes American Cemetery on the outskirts of Paris during a centennial commemoration of Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 2018.

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Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in Belleau, France, Nov. 10, 2018.

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, shakes the hand of a woman standing with a child.
Cemetery Tour
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, meets a family touring the Belleau Wood battleground, in Belleau, France on Nov. 10, 2018.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro
VIRIN: 181110-D-PB383-026
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stands next to a woman holding an umbrella and a man
Suresnes Visit
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, greets audience members at the Suresnes American Cemetery in Suresnes, France, before a Veterans Day and commemoration ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the signing of the World War I armistice, Nov. 11, 2018.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro
VIRIN: 181111-D-PB383-010

On his way home from Paris, where he attended the ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff reflected on the war and its significance in today's conflicts.

“I think one of the things with World War I is the character of war hadn’t changed in some time,” Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford said. “We saw … our own experience in the Civil War – machine guns, concertina wire, railroads, communications and so forth. And I think even 50 years later, it’s pretty clear that leaders didn’t fully appreciate the changed character of war and the introduction of new technologies and how they’re going to change war.”

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford and his wife, Ellyn stand in a chapel.
Chapel Visit
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife, Ellyn, tour the Aisne-Marne American Chapel Cemetery near the Belleau Wood battleground in Belleau, France, Nov. 10, 2018.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro
VIRIN: 181110-D-PB383-012

World War I marked the first time that U.S. forces fought alongside allied countries, a fact that the chairman said resonates even today, as one of three lines of effort within the 2018 National Defense Strategy involves the nation furthering its alliances and partnerships with other nations.

“If you look back at the 20th century, [in] every conflict we were involved in, we participated as part of a coalition, participated with allies and partners on our side: World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, and the main skirmishes that we had in between,” Dunford said. “And … the NDS recognizes that we certainly don’t anticipate being on any future battlefield without allies and partners.”