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Local History

First Veterans Day observance

"A combination of a highly trained reserve and efficient regular forces is a deterrent to war, Brig. Gen. Frederick H. Black, retired Army officer, told a crowd assembled in Grant Beach Park yesterday morning in observance of Veterans’ Day.

"The ceremony was conducted under an Indian summer sun near the Memorial to Greene Countians who died in action in World War I....

"This was the first marking of Veteran’s Day, successor to Armistice Day observed in past years denoting the end of the first World War on Nov. 11, 1918. Since then there has been World War II fought on many fronts around the globe and its aftermath, [and] the Korean conflict....

"The Goad-Ballinger Post of the American Legion was in charge of the Veterans’ Day program and Ralph Thieme, a past commander, presided. Paul A. Frey, chaplain of the Missouri Department of the Legion, gave the invocation and the benediction.

"As he spoke, General Black was surrounded by representatives of several service organizations, a group of school children, the Central High School Band, [and] the Southwest Missouri State College ROTC unit..."

Springfield Daily News, November 12, 1954

The article gives detailed information of the ceremonies that included the Central High School Band playing the Star Spangled Banner, pupils from Fairbanks School singing America, Sea Scout Ship No. 2 placing a flower on the monument as each name was read, the ROTC from Southwest Missouri State College fired a salute and Dick Wilson and David Weston of the CHS band blew Taps.

More information about WWI can be found on the Library's website, Missouri Over There. Photographs are courtesy of the Springfield News Leader in From the Darkroom.

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