By John A. Schwarz
I wrote several years ago about how lucky we are to have a wonderful small museum — the Bruce in Greenwich — just ten minutes away.
Once the roads are clear, I urge you to drive there as soon as you can to see an outstanding and extensive exhibit of World War I posters. You feel the patriotism that Americans felt as they went to war. You learn about the sinking of the British ocean liner, the <Lusitania>, on May 7, 1915. The ship, on a voyage from New York to Liverpool, carried 1,959 passengers and crew. It was torpedoed by a German submarine 11 miles from what is now the beautiful Irish golf course called Old Head. Eleven hundred and ninety-eight people drowned, including 128 Americans of the 200 aboard. The survivors were brought to Kinsale, County Cork, a short distance from Old Head.
It makes you wonder what the Germans were thinking of, knowing this provocation would most likely draw America into World War I. It did, but strangely enough, not until 1917, which I find odd. I also find it odd that there were 200 Americans aboard the ship. For that matter, I find it odd that anyone in their right mind was aboard. The Germans had placed articles in 50 U.S. newspapers warning people that they were going to be sinking British ships. Incidentally, there were 4 million rounds of ammunition aboard the ship.
You might consider buying Erik Larson’s non-fiction work, “ Dead Wake”, which tells the Lusitania story. It’s a gripping read. But make sure you take time to see the patriotic posters at the Bruce Museum. It will take less than an hour for you to see the works, but you’ll remember them for a lifetime.