Earlier this month Kelly Frels, past President of the State Bar of Texas and close friend of Last Plane Out of Saigon author Richard Pena, shared with our team a significant article from The Buzz Magazines. This article highlights the trip Kelly Frels took to Europe to visit the places his father was at during WWI. As this Veteran’s Day is the 100th Anniversary of the end of WWI, we wanted to share Kelly Frels’ distinctive story.
What follows, are quotes from Kelly Frels with subsequent excerpts from The Buzz Magazines’ Travel Buzz article: “In Dad’s World War I footsteps” written by Journalist Tracy L. Barnett. The featured selections are used with permission from www.thebuzzmagazines.com. You can read the full story here: https://thebuzzmagazines.com/articles/2018/11/dads-world-war-i-footsteps.
November 11, 2018, will mark the 100th Anniversary of the end of WWI. My father was a 22-year-old soldier in the United States Army whose 90th Division, under the command of General Pershing, was fighting the Germans in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive just Northwest of Verdun, France when the Armistice was signed at 11:00 A.M. on November 11, 1918.”
“There . . . they found the diary he had kept of his service in the American Expeditionary Forces of the U.S. Army in Northern France in 1918 and 1919.”
“Inspired to learn more, Kelly and Carmela decided to extend a planned trip to Europe.”
“While the death toll of World War II was significantly higher, 10 million soldiers alone died in World War l. The total deaths of 20 million at that time was staggering. The intensity of the trench warfare during World War I led to battles with astronomical casualty rates - among the highest in history.”
“The Frels’ full immersion in the story of the war plunged them into some of humanity's darkest hours, making their way into the trenches and battlefields, visiting the memorials and museums. Some towns had been obliterated - nine villages in the Meuse department alone - and, as a memorial to their loss, the French had decided not to rebuild there.”
“The Frels had traveled here [to these parts of Europe] before with a much lighter focus…This year, with the centennial of WWI, the area took on additional significance.”
His comments, when made, were more about the suffering of the civilians and the soldiers affected by the conflict. He felt that war was a terrible waste of people and a squandering of resources. He believed that world leaders should take extraordinary caution to avoid wars, because what started as another European war of seemingly limited scope became the first world war.”
Thank you to all of our veterans.
For more information on Houston Attorney Kelly Frels click here