Earle probably read this news in a newspaper, as this was before even radio. He'd not have been able to predict that a century later, his great-grandson (me) would be typing these words about him, wondering how he learned of the war.
Of course, what we now call "World War I" didn't immediately affect him, nor many other Americans. The USA insisted on staying out of that irrational and deeply cynical war in its first few years. President Wilson famously ran for his second term in 1916 under the slogan "He Kept Us Out of the War".
In time, the war came for us, too. Spring 1917. The very week that the USA declared war on the German Empire in April 1917, my great-grandfather, Earle Hazen, turned 20. As this is prime conscription age, he ended up in the army.
Earlier this year, my cousin N.D. and I found a picture of Earle Hazen in the attic of the old house in Connecticut. The girl in the picture is our grandmother (born in 1921). Judging by her age here, this picture seems to be from around 1930. My cousin N.D., upon seeing this photo, insisted that Earle Hazen at that time looked a lot like N.D. does today.
What do I know about Earle Hazen? I know the following: