John A. Kendall
Private, United States Army
Neglected Tributes to Soldiers of the First
On May 13, 2002, The Post published a letter and photo of mine describing the neglected and vandalized condition of World War I markers along the upper reaches of 16th Street NW. Originally, both sides of the street had hundreds of small concrete blocks, at intervals of about 10 or 15 feet, each with a copper name badge of a D.C. soldier killed in action.
Most of the markers are long gone. I found only one that still had a badge. It was for Private John A. Kendall, U.S. Army, killed in action in France on October 16, 1918 -- only 26 days before the Armistice.
My letter brought a message from Alice McConnell, a local resident -- and John A. Kendall's niece. Private Kendall, I learned, had been a resident of Washington for 16 years. He was employed at Gregg's dairy, and his, wife, Annie, worked at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. He reached France in May 1918. His letters seldom talked about the fighting but touched more on things back home.
I checked to see whether Private Kendall was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, and indeed he was. I visited his grave. Ms. McConnell had thought that her uncle was buried in France, so I was glad I could clear that up and sent a photo of his grave.
Meanwhile, the few remaining World War I markers continue to decay. If they can't be replaced, couldn't the remaining markers be preserved in a museum?
With all the money and time being spent on the World War II memorial in the heart of the national Mall, perhaps we could help preserve the memory of the earlier world war.
KENDALL, JOHN A