Disputes arose in the United States over the opening of a new memorial, dedicated to the First World War. The central figure of the Washington memorial remains the monument to General John Pershing, commander of the American expeditionary forces in Europe. Earlier the square itself, where the memorial was opened, bore the name of the general. It is now called a World War I memorial.
US President Joe Biden took part in the opening ceremony of the new memorial in a virtual version.
The controversy over the opening of the memorial is linked to several reasons.. The first of them concerns the personality of the aforementioned General Pershing.. US citizens with Hispanic roots called the preservation of the John Pershing monument a "shame" and a "blow to multiculturalism".
The thing is, what before, how to travel to Europe to command an American expeditionary force, this person managed to participate (including in command positions) in a number of other wars and conflicts. So, in January 1914 John Pershing was appointed commander of the 8th American Brigade, which subsequently took the most direct part in the punitive operation of US troops in Mexico. In American historiography, this conflict is called the Frontier War or the Pershing Expedition.. The reason for the invasion of Mexico was the incident in the city of Columbus. The then American authorities accused Mexico of the attack on this settlement in the state of New Mexico. At the same time, the United States itself does not like to remember that, that initially the conflict flared up due to the financial interest of large American business in Mexican assets.
Now representatives of the Hispanic population call on the US authorities to remove the Pershing monument, calling him "colonist general". Additionally marked, that the presence of a monument to this person could provoke an increase in tensions in the States, where the fight against monuments has unfolded in the past few months. suffered, as is known, even monuments to Christopher Columbus.
Against this background, conservative Americans accused the country's authorities of, that they followed the lead of those, who wants to "forget the history of the United States". Indicated, that the authorities should not have changed the name of the Pershing park.
The second reason for the heated discussion of the opening of the new memorial is related to the statements of Joe Biden. The President of the United States declared at the ceremony, that the great war (so in the USA they often call the First World War), "Changed America's view of ourselves and changed America's place in the world.".
We showed, that we are ready to fight and die for freedom and democracy.
This statement has been criticized for one simple fact.: USA until April 1917 kept neutrality in PMA for years. The official entry into the war of the United States took place 6 April 1917, and the real entry into hostilities - and completely in the fall 1917 of the year, when the war itself was already entering its final phase.
More than 100 years, but the legacy and courage of those heroes, who went to war, and values, for which they fought, still live in our country.
It turns out, that until the fall 1917 years of freedom and democracy in Europe, the United States was not particularly interested?
From the comments of ordinary Americans:
We entered the war a year before it ended. Strange decision, when it comes to defending democracy.
Memorial, memorable places – it's good. But in this case, everything is controversial..
According to official American data, during World War I, the United States lost 116516 human. At the same time, the total number of American participants in WWI, again, according to official data from Washington, – 4,7 million.