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Monday marks 100 years since the start of World War I

Monday marks 100 years since the start of World War I

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Monday marked 100 years since World War I was started.

It was on July 28, 1914, that Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The war would soon spread throughout Europe, and across the globe.

Retirement communities, like Fairwinds-Sand Creek in Idaho Falls, are full of World War II and Korean War veterans. Many of them, though, also carry stories from the First World War.

"I had an uncle who was in the First World War, and he had a great experience," said resident Doyle Arave.

Arave's uncle was a member of the National Guard in Blackfoot when the U.S. declared war three years after fighting had started.

"They talked to the whole group," said Arave. "They needed them real bad in Germany."

Back then, National Guardsmen couldn't fight on foreign soil, so they had to quickly go to Boise to get around that barrier.

"They went over there and discharged them at one end of the hall, and at the other end they swore them into the United States Army," said Arave. "And away they went."

Veteran Kenneth Fiebig, a resident of MorningStar Senior Living in Idaho Falls, fought in both World War II and the Korean War. His stepfather, the man who raised him, fought in World War I.

"He never talked about battles, but he was in one where he received gas," said Fiebig. "They dropped mustard gas, and that's what done him in. He died on his 47th birthday."

Before Fiebig's stepfather passed away, he shared some advice from his time in the Great War, which left more than 37 million people dead.

"He said if they ever have another war, I don't want you to go in the Army, because that's not a good place to survive in the current conditions," said Fiebig.

Fiebig took his advice and opted for the Navy instead.

The actual fighting of World War I ended Nov. 11, 1918. Then came six months of negotiations and an official end with the Treaty of Versailles, signed near Paris on June 28, 1919.

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