CHESTERFIELD — Chesterfield County’s Sesquicentennial of WWI Committee has created an educational traveling trunk to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of World War I. The trunk includes lesson plans for teachers and educators as well as authentic and replica artifacts.

While primarily developed for teachers, the trunk is also useful for any group interested in WWI history, including home school students, scout troops or community organizations. The traveling trunk offers students a hands-on opportunity to learn about WWI, from the training and preparation to daily life in the trenches, soldiers’ personal effects, nutrition and the changes that new technologies brought to warfare.

The WWI Traveling Trunk is part of the Chesterfield County Public Library collection and can be reserved online at library.chesterfield.gov. The trunk is checked out and returned to Central Library, 7051 Lucy Corr Boulevard. For more information, contact Bryan Truzzie, historic sites manager, Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation, at 804-751-4946 or truzzieb@chesterfield.gov.

In 1917, more than 1,500 Chesterfield County men either volunteered or were drafted to serve in World War I. Initially only 167 men were selected for training before they were transported to France to participate in the "Great War." A recruiting station was set up at the old Chesterfield County courthouse to form an infantry company. Around 100 drafted recruits pitched their tents and camped on the courthouse green where we now hold the annual Veterans Day ceremony. Nineteen Chesterfield County soldiers died during WWI. This event commemorates their bravery, paying for freedom with their lives. One hundred years ago, on November 11, 1918, “At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month,” the Armistice was signed to mark the end of WWI.