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Longmont residents Albert “Dick” Smith (left) and John H. Buckley (right), with an unknown man in the middle, posing with their biplanes. Smith survived the war but died of influenza in 1919. Buckley died in an air collision in 1918. (photo courtesy longmont museum)

In 2018, as the country commemorates the 100th anniversary of our entrance into WWI

By Lisa Truesdale

After growing up in Longmont and attending the University of Colorado, John Harold Buckley joined the Air Force, eventually achieving the rank of 1st lieutenant. He didn’t get a chance to return to his hometown, however; his plane was shot down over France during World War I, on the third day of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in 1918. American Legion Post 32 in Longmont was named in his honor in 1920, and in 1942, the U.S. Air Force named the new Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora after the young pilot.

In 2018, as the country commemorates the 100th anniversary of our entrance into the war, Buckley’s story is just one of the many that are being featured as part of the Longmont Museum’s spring exhibit, “WWI: Longmont and the Great War.” Exhibitions all over the world in the past 100 years have endeavored to tell the story in unique ways, and this one is just as special—it presents a view of the war through the experiences of people from Longmont. The exhibit, which opens on Feb. 2 and runs through May 13, features thousands of historical photographs and objects, including full infantry uniforms, posters, letters and a replica Jenny biplane—nearly full-size, at 7/8 scale.

To find out more, visit www.longmontcolorado.gov/museum.

The Longmont Museum is also offering a number of special events in conjunction with the exhibit:

History Lectures, 6:30 p.m.
• Feb. 8 – Think and Drink: War and Civilizations
• Feb. 22 – Longmont in the Great War
• April 5 – Deadly Laboratories: The Evolution of Tactics and Technology in the First World War
Views & Brews Film Series, bar opens 6 p.m., films 7:15pm
• March 1 – The African Queen
• March 8 – Wonder Woman
• March 15 – All Quiet on the Western Front
• March 22 – War Horse