Delaware County goes “RED” for World War I  

Council announces county-wide plans to commemorate the forgotten generation

Delaware County goes “RED” for World War I

At the March 29 meeting, Council proclaimed April 6 as the centennial of World War I and announced plans to hold a ceremony to commemorate the Great War on April 8 at the Delaware County Courthouse in Media. Council was joined by members of the Delaware County World War I Centennial Committee including, from left, Tore Fiore, Executive Director of Destination Delco, Barbara Selletti, local historian, Council Chairman Mario J. Civera, Jr., Shakespeare, service dog, Anthony Selletti, local historian, George Fritzinger, Past Commander of the American Legion Post 94, top row, from left, George Rothacker, artist and marketing professional, Councilman Michael Culp, Council Vice Chair Colleen Morrone, Councilman John McBlain and Councilman Dave White, and Harry Seth, Commander of the American Legion Post 94.

It has been said that World War I is America’s forgotten war, even though more Americans gave their lives during that war than during Korea and Vietnam combined, and even though it profoundly shaped the rest of the 20th Century. In response to threats and in defense of national security, millions of men and women responded to the call 100 years ago, including 280 from Delaware County who made the ultimate sacrifice with their lives.

Although there are no more World War I veterans alive today, there is a group of dedicated individuals in Delaware County whose members are making sure the heroes of the Great War are not forgotten.   At the March 29 meeting, Council recognized the Delaware County World War I Centennial Committee with a resolution and announced plans to hold a centennial ceremony on Saturday, April 8 in the Honorable John V. Diggins Ceremonial Courtroom #1 at the Delaware County Courthouse in Media.

“We are grateful to the members of the Centennial Committee for their commitment and efforts to raise awareness about the war and to honor the heroism and sacrifice of those Americans who served,” said Chairman Mario J. Civera, Jr. “For our residents, various commemoration events and activities have been planned, including tours, lectures, poppy plantings and a documentary series to create public awareness of the great deeds and sacrifices of a patriotic generation of Americans,” he said.

In addition to the county’s Centennial Ceremony on April 8, packets of red poppy seeds are being provided by the Destination Delco, Delaware County’s Tourism Bureau, and distributed to homes, historic properties and gardens throughout Delaware County for planting in early spring for a summer and late-summer bloom as part of the “Paint Delaware County Red” program.

At the meeting Council also recognized Destination Delco’s “Paint Delaware County Red” poppy program, inspired by the poem “Flanders Field,” written in 1915 by Canadian Physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrea who wrote the poem in memory of the death of a friend who died in the Great War. The poem and the image of the red poppies that grew over the graves of fallen soldiers became one of the most recognizable memorial symbols of soldiers who have died in combat.

To kick off the poppy planning initiative, Delaware County artist and marketing professional George Rothacker contributed a 36" x 36" acrylic on canvas painting of a Flanders Poppy in a poppy field which was on display at the meeting. The image is being used as a branding for the project and appears on the poppy seed packets, signage, button pins and many other marketing tools.

More information about the World War I committee and plans for commemoration through the year can be found at their website,