The Great War as it was known then because the Second World War had not occurred yet started in Europe in 1914 and ended on November 11, 1918.
The articles which follow reveal the devastating effects the Spanish Influenza had on America and the world during the World war specifically during the year of 1918.  More then half the soldiers who died during the war died of the effects of the Flu.  The main age group affected was 20 to 40 year olds which made it particularly devastating for these are the healthiest of people in any country.
We entered or declared war on April 6, 1917 and the war ended on
November 11, 1918.  Approximately 20 months or one year and eight months, according to the U.S. Department of Justice figures, the United States had 4,355,000 men Mobilized serving in the Armed forces.  Approximately 1,000,000 of those men or at least 25% of the Armed forces of the United States passed through Camp Merritt.      

          The allied forces of the countries of
USA, Russia, British Empire, France, Italy, Japan, Romania, Serbia, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Montenegro, had a total of,
42,188,810 mobilized servicemen, 5,142,631 died during there service, 12,800,706 were wounded, 4,121,090 Prisoners of war or missing in action.  The total casualty figure for the allied side is 22,062,427.
          On the German side with the countries of;
Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria, 22,850,000 men were mobilized, 3,386,200 men died while in service, 8,388,448 were wounded, 3,629,829 were prisoners of war or missing in action.  The total casualty figure for the German side was 15,404,477.
          The grand total for both sides combined are:
--Mobilized forces—65,038,810
--Died in service—8,528,831
--Prisoners and missing—7,750,919
--total casualties both wound and deaths—37,466,904
          During the 1 year and 8 month period the United States was in the war 53,513 men were killed in combat action.  63,195 men died of accidents and primarily the Spanish Influenza.  204,002 were wounded during the war and the total number of casualties both died in service and the wounded 320,710.
          The monument we pass by on Madison Avenue in Cresskill, New Jersey all the time pays tribute to those men and women who gave there lives during this great World struggle.  15 officers, 558 servicemen, 4 nurses, and only 1 civilian.   But we know from the articles that many people from the surrounding towns died of the flu and some people may very well had caught the virus from servicemen or vice versa it had no bounds.
On a personal note, my Baseball coach from Hackensack High School started his teaching career here in Cresskill 1964 to 1968 His name was Dave Seddon.  He became one of the best baseball coaches in Bergen County history for Hackensack High School, his father growing up in Oradell at the age of 10 in 1918 along with his brother who would have been a young teen of 15 or 16 years old would deliver laundry to the camp.  They would take a trolley and it would drop them off right by where the monument is today he said.  The camp had its own facilities to clean laundry but there would be overflow and they needed to have people in the surrounding community do some of the clothes.  This was a risk for locals during the epidemic to come in contact with any group of people let alone men who are from all over the country and some had been on the other side of the Atlantic.

Written by:
Bob Meli
May 20, 2014