Life-sized cutouts are placed around Oshkosh to commemorate WWI history

These three men were part of the Student Army Training Corps (SATC). The unit was established at the Oshkosh Normal School during WWI. February 2, 2018. (WLUK/Pafoua Yang)

OSHKOSH (WLUK) -- To mark a century since the country's entry into WWI, life-sized cutouts are being place around Oshkosh.

The cutouts are of people who lived during that era.

Historians from the Oshkosh Centennial WWI Committee wanted to shine some light on soldiers and civilians with the help of two UW-Oshkosh student.

Christopher Gauger, graduated from UW0 last spring and helped research and gather information about people who lived in Oshkosh during the Great War.

Gauger told FOX 11, "This project shows that ordinary people can influence history, its not just the famous names, the ones who gets books written about them or who appear in pop culture."

When asked what Gaugers favorite standee was, he said, "My favorite favorite standee would have to be He was born in Austria, as a very young child, he immigrated to the United States and during the first world war, he served as an amateur photojournalist," Gauger said.

Gauger mainly focused on the military side, while his research partner, Elizabeth Potter looked at the civilians.

"They were so hardy, like Eli Rice behind us, he was doing like 3 to 4 jobs," Potter explained. "That wasn't necessarily just for him and his income, he was doing it for his community."

Gauger and Potter profiled a dozen people by using archive information and photos from the Oshkosh Public Museum.

The 12 standees are located in public places that have high traffic including the Oshkosh Seniors Center, the Oshkosh Public Library, the City Hall, and Best Western.

UWO history professor, Gabriel Loiacono hopes the cutouts will reach as many people as possible.

"I think it's really important to know how people lived, how people fought in the past because they made the world that we lived in now," Loiacono said. "I don think we can understand ourselves without understanding the past and the people that came before us."

The cutouts will be on display until November.

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