Oswego County World War I Commemoration Lecture

World War I veteran Jesse Merle Hewitt of Oswego, eponym of Hewitt Union

 Pictured is a historic image circa 1918 of World War I veteran Jesse Merle Hewitt of Oswego. As a freshmen student of the Oswego Normal School (now SUNY Oswego), Hewitt and fellow students left college to enlist in the war. His plan was to return home and complete an Industrial Arts degree. He made the ultimate sacrifice as the first causality of the war from Oswego. He was also the only student from the Oswego Normal School that enlisted in the war that did not return home. The Hewitt Union student building on the SUNY Oswego campus was named in his honor in 1967. (Photograph Courtesy of Penfield Library Special Collection Department, SUNY Oswego)

Sunday, November 18 at 1:30 p.m. the Oswego County Historical Society hosts guest speakers Dan Allen and Mark Slosek, Oswego County World War I Commemoration Committee members, in the Library Community Room.

This lecture coincides with the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice, ending World War I on November 11, 1918. One of the lasting memorials initiated by the committee is a commemorative plaque generously provided by the Oswego County Legislature. The plaque will be placed in the Oswego County Veteran's Memorial Park along West Linear Park on Sunday, November 11, 2018. On the plaque is a list of 132 individual veterans from Oswego County that made the ultimate sacrifice as causalities during the war.

"The Oswego County World War I Commemoration Project has focused on an important centennial of our American patriotic history, in particular the end of World War I on November 11, 1918," said Justin White, Oswego County Historian and member of the commemoration committee. "The war had a major impact in communities around the country and Oswego County was equally affected. There was a strong enlistment from the local men who served in the war and the county citizens that diligently helped with the cause. There are many incredible stories that have been rediscovered through research. The goal is to have an accurate master list of the veterans that served to begin sharing their stories"

The program will highlight the many significant projects that have occurred to bring awareness and appreciation of the contributions to the "Great War" history in Oswego County. Projects have included a flag program for individual memorial graves stateside and abroad. The committee planned long-term improvement of historic World War I memorials located in parks of the city of Oswego. The program will also focus on some personal stories of the men that served and made the ultimate sacrifice for peace and freedom around the world.

The Oswego County Historical Society is a non-profit organization founded in 1896 and dedicated to the collection, promotion and interpretation of the historical resources of the county. It owns and operates the historic landmark Richardson-Bates House Museum at 135 E. Third St. in Oswego. The museum is open for tours Thursday - Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information visit the website at www.rbhousemuseum.org or call during regular hours at 315-343-1342.