Alan Seeger is an American poet who fell in love with France for which he engaged in 1914.
He lived his childhood in Staten Island in front of the Statue of Liberty. At twelve, he moved to Mexico with his parents. In 1902 back in United States, he graduated from Harvard in 1910, and then arrived in Paris in 1912.
He fell in love with that city and wrote articles and poems for “The Mercure de France” and various American and European newspapers.
On August 24th 1914, he joined the Foreign Legion in the 2nd Regiment abroad in Toulouse that was created to receive the engaged soldiers. On October 4th 1914 he fought at the Battle of the Marne in the Marais de Saint-Gond and from October 27th 1914 to June 17th 1915 at the Chemin des Dames. From February to April 1916, he was hospitalized in Paris and Biarritz and joined again the front.
Alan Seeger was killed in action in front of Belloy-en-Santerre on July 4th 1916. Recognized as missing, his remains were probably buried in the ossuary number 2 in the French National Cemetery of Lihons (Somme).
Joyce Kilmer (06.12.1886 - 07.30.1918)
Journalist and poet, Joyce Kilmer was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey on December 6th 1886. He is often regarded as the first American Catholic poet of his generation.
After graduation, Kilmer served as literary editor for the ecclesiastical religious journal, and later for the New York Times.
In 1917, when the United States entered the First World War, he joined the infantry. Once in Europe, Kilmer quickly attained the rank of sergeant and mostly served as an intelligence officer (collected information from the front line to the enemy). On July 30th 1918, he fought in the battle of the Ourcq and was killed by a bullet of a sniper. He received the “Croix de Guerre” after his death.
His strong religious faith and fervor for the natural beauty of the world have a great influence in his work. "Trees" is unique for its personification of the tree in the poem, and became more popular after his death in 1940 and 1950. In 1938, the Federal government purchased 3,800 acres of a forest in North Carolina to stop devastation. This forest area has been dedicated to the memory of Joyce Kilmer. His name was also given to many streets and schools across the country as well as a park in the Bronx.