In April 1917, America entered the First World War.

Like many young men, Germantown's Franklin "Furman" Betts wanted to serve his country. But he didn't pine for serving in the Army or Navy. In fact, Betts refused to take a human life.

As a Quaker dedicated to nonviolence, Betts was one of thousands of conscientious objectors whose religious beliefs clashed with the government's first national draft since the Civil War.

In an environment characterized by some as one of patriotism and paranoia, many Americans viewed such individuals as Betts with suspicion.

To provide an alternative to traditional military service for pacifists and other objectors, 14 Philadelphia Friends met on the last day of April and formed the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).

Dedicated to aiding civilian war victims, the AFSC offered men and women the opportunity to "provide a service of love in wartime." The group worked with draft boards, with varying success, to remove conscientious objectors from military service.

Thousands were sent "over there" to France - not to fight, but to heal. The AFSC worked to rebuild homes, reestablish agriculture in devastated areas, and provide aid to refugees.

After six weeks in an AFSC training camp, Betts went to Europe, serving with other Friends, primarily along the Western Front, from September 1917 to June 1918. For two months after that, he worked with the Red Cross' Bureau of Reconstruction in Paris.

In August, three months before the war's end, Betts enlisted in the U.S. Army Ambulance Service, working with the French army. He was discharged in early 1919 and returned to America in May, having demonstrated the myriad ways in which patriotism manifests itself.