Congress declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, formally taking the United States into World War I, a conflict that had been ongoing for nearly three years and changed our nation and the world forever.

When the war began in 1914 — pitting the Allied powers of France, Great Britain and Russia against Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire — most Americans simply wanted to keep out of the conflict. The fighting was taking place oceans away, and since the U.S. was not directly threatened, many Americans felt there was little to gain by entering the war.

WWI has been referred to as The Great War and The War To End All Wars. It ended with an armistice at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. The cost was huge for the U.S., with 117,000 dead and 205,000 wounded Americans.

On April 6, 2017, thousands in attendance, as well as TV viewers across the nation and around the world, joined the United States in commemorating this turning point in our nation’s and the world’s history with the “In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace: Centennial Commemoration of the U.S. Entry into World War I” ceremony, hosted by the United States World War One Centennial Commission at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo.

To learn more about World War I, please visit theworldwar.org.

Month of the Military Child

April is designated as the Month of the Military Child, underscoring the important role military children play in the armed forces community.

Sponsored by the Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy, the Month of the Military Child is a time to applaud military families and their children for the daily sacrifices they make and the challenges they overcome.

Please help celebrate our youngest members of our military families whose parents are serving to protect our freedoms.

Important numbers

Are you a veteran in need or know a veteran who needs help?

1-877-WAR-VETS is an around-the-clock, confidential call center where combat veterans and their families can call to talk about their military experiences or any other issues they are facing in their readjustment to civilian life. The staff is composed of combat veterans from several eras, as well as family members of combat veterans.

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1) or text to 838255.

The Veterans Crisis Line connects veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Support for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals is available with TTY service at 1-800-799-4889.

Homeless Veterans: 1-877-424-3838 to access VA services for homeless and at-risk veterans 24/7.

Bangor Veterans Center new location

After almost 34 years on Harlow Street, the Veterans Center in Bangor outgrew the space and needed to upgrade to accommodate all the services they provide. Their new address is 615 Odlin Road, Suite 3, Bangor.

Joy Asuncion is a retired 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy. She is an Honor Flight Maine board member and a Maine Troop Greeter. You can reach Joy at joyasuncion@roadrunner.com or 930-5640.