LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Thursday signed an executive order creating a nine-member committee to plan events in Arkansas to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I.

LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Thursday signed an executive order creating a nine-member committee to plan events in Arkansas to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I.


The World War I Centennial Commemoration Committee will plan events and projects for the 2017 and 2018 calendar years and will cease to exist on Dec. 31, 2018. America’s involvement in World War I began in April 1917, and the war ended in November 2018.


"I am honored to be able to sign this order creating a committee to plan ways for our state to commemorate the courage, sacrifice and valiant efforts of the more than 71,000 soldiers from Arkansas who served their country during World War I," Hutchinson said.


The governor signed the order in a ceremony at the state Capitol, where he was joined by Arkansas native Joseph Weishaar, an architect who won an international competition to design a World War 1 monument that will be built in Washington, D.C.


World War I "deserves to be remembered," said Weishaar, a 2013 University of Arkansas graduate who now lives in Chicago.


"More than anything else, though, hopefully it will stand as a marker for all time to say to those men and women who served, ‘You are not forgotten,’ and the same thing moving forward to our current veterans and current active military, that their sacrifices will also not be forgotten," he said.


Weishaar’s design, titled "The Weight of Sacrifice," features walls bearing bas-relief images of American soldiers and quotes from politicians, soldiers and military leaders.


The committee members will be:


—Stacy Hurst, director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, or a designee.


—Raymond Screws, director of the Arkansas National Guard Museum.


—Lisa Speer, state historian.


—Lt. Col. Matt Snead, director of the Arkansas Department of Veteran’s Affairs, or a designee.


—Lt. Col. Joel Lynch, public affairs officer of the Arkansas National Guard.


—Peter MacKeith, dean of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas, or a designee.


—Maj. Gen. Mark Berry, adjutant general, Arkansas National Guard.


—Retired Lt. Col. Ken Griffin, military and veterans affairs officer in the governor’s office.


—Shawn Fisher, professor of history, Harding University.