BY RAUL HERNANDEZ
PBS’s The Great War is a three-part series about World War I, and the documentary rivals Ken Burns Civil War in extraordinary storytelling.
I enjoyed watching The Great War, which first aired two weeks ago, this weekend.
It is rich with historical content and powerful images, using a beautiful tapestry of unpublished diaries, memoirs and letters that give voice to those who lived in a complex American epoch.
These were the nurses, journalists, aviators, families, politicians, soldiers, known as “doughboys,” along with black, Native American and Latino soldiers.
Some very interesting facts surfaced: Those who joined the military spoke 54 languages, not including English; there were more than 500,000 German who were required to register as illegal immigrants, and for the most part, all First Amendment rights were abolished and simply criticizing the United States’ war effort could land a person in jail or prison.
I was aware that Latinos, many Mexican-Americans,, and Puerto Ricans, joined the military or were drafted.
But I recently learned that the most decorated World War I veteran from Texas was from El Paso, Texas where I grew up. Marcelino Serna was a Mexican immigrant, according to Vinetage News.
If you love history, especially American history, this PBS documentary tells a magnificent story about how the U.S. got into the war, the oppressive crackdowns of civil liberties in America along with the heroism, sacrifice, and brutality of a war that claimed 15 million lives.
Radio Free O’Reilly
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