France tour shows where American WWI heroes were made

The statue of a French Poilu lies in front of the Douaumont Ossuary in Verdun, France. World War I brought unprecedented trench warfare to northern France and Belgium. The toll of dead was so immense in the Verdun region that soldiers from both sides were buried together in the ossuary. (Associated Press/File)

VERDUN, France – What the Europeans called “The Great War” was not going well in the early spring of 1917. The generals on both sides were gambling with young lives like spendthrifts in a grim and grisly game of death across a network of trenches separated by 40 yards of desolation called “no man’s land.” “I…