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Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

Lieutenant Colonel George S. Patton. "Peace," November 11, 1918. Typescript poem. George S. Patton Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (160.00.00)
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Lieutenant Colonel George S. Patton. "Peace," November 11, 1918. Typescript poem. George S. Patton Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (160.00.00)
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All Their Weary Marches Done, All Their Battles Fought and Won. American dead in the Meuse-Argonne. Meadville, Pennsylvania: Keystone View Company, printed ca.1934. Stereograph. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (150.00.00)
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"Peace"

Not everyone was pleased that peace had finally returned to Western Europe. The day the armistice commenced, George Patton penned a poem encapsulating his feelings. The poem described Patton's "dismay" at the popular excitement that greeted the peace, which he characterized as the "cruel glee of the weak." Patton's poem mourned the loss during peacetime of the virtues that he believed war inspired, such as sacrifice and purpose. In this draft an editor, possibly Patton's wife Beatrice, has crossed out those lines that express especially strong sentiments like comparing peaceful life to "a festering sewer." In contrast to Patton's view of war, the stereograph of a dead U.S. soldier in a bomb crater takes its title from Robert Burns Wilson's poem "Such is the Death the Soldier Dies."

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