Traverse City Record-Eagle

November 11, 2011

Record-Eagle series to focus on WWI vet


TRAVERSE CITY — World War I was a meat grinder.

It chewed up more than 35 million soldiers and civilians from 1914 to 1918, ranking it one of the deadliest in human history. It ended on Nov. 11, 1918, and is the original reason we celebrate Veterans Day today.

A total of 116,516 American soldiers died, including 5,000 from Michigan and 87 men from Grand Traverse County.

Lt. Harry Holliday was one of them.

The son of city physician George and Jennifer Holliday, his memory lives on as a namesake of Bowen-Holliday American Legion Post No. 35.

He received a Distinguished Service Cross for his extraordinary heroism in the face of the enemy at the Second Battle of the Marne on July 15, 1918. The bond between Holliday and his family is preserved in 350 letters his father, who served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, wrote home to his grieving wife and daughters.

In Sunday's paper, the Record-Eagle will begin a two-day series in our news and feature sections in honor of Veterans Day. They tell the Holliday story and also chronicle a community effort by Grand Traverse County's women's club to build memorials to honor local veterans of that time.