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Call to War

On this date the Pantagraph headlines said: FIRST GREEK RESPONDS TO CALL TO COLORS. The Greek government was appealing to expatriates to return to Greece to defend their country. The article does not name the man who left, but he was a worker with the Chicago and Alton Shops.

The Pantagraph acknowledged that this was not a draft, but a call which men could answer voluntarily. They also observed that the Greek government did not care if the men had taken new citizenship and would welcome any man who returned to fight for Greece. The tone of the article was somewhat xenophobic stating: "The fact that they might have become American citizens in the meantime does not cut any figure. American citizenship papers are not recognized in foreign countries any more than they are in Mexico. . . . word has come by cable message to do nothing in regard to paying for transportation for the reserves and others until further notice, but despite this fact 500 New England Greeks who have registered with the consul are so anxious to serve their country again that they are willing to pay their expenses and will sail from New York on the King Constantine a week from today."

Apparently foreigners cannot be trusted and will go immediately to the aid of their motherland, is the implied message of this piece. Of course the Greeks were standing on the side of the Allies, so this was not as terrible as Germans returning to fight for Germany. But during the next war, internment camps would be established here and in England because of the fear of old allegiances.

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