The History of Taylor County Chapter Two Hundred-Sixty-Two

Memorial Day Parade Described

At 9 o’clock a.m., Chief Marshal Colonel Andrew Myers formed the marchers in line at Compton’s Corner with Vincent’s band leading the veterans of Reno post No. 7 Grand Army of the Republic, the Sons of Veterans as an escort of the children of the public schools in charge of Miss Mattie Jaco assisted by the instructors of the Central, East Grafton and Fetterman schools and the children of St. Augustine Catholic school in charge of Mrs. James B. Moran proceeded down Main Street, through Latrobe to Beech Street and out Walnut Street to the National Cemetery, where the children raised their young voiced in the song, America, and then set at the task of placing a bouquet, wreath or garland of flowers and small clean new flags above the mound of each soldier within the walls of the sacred city of the dead. It can be truthfully said that those children of 34 years ago saw to it that not a single mound was neglected, which, doubtless led that famous poet, Edgar Guest to write those lines, having been witness to this ceremony of children reverently placing these tokens above the dead:
“A little patch of color on a lonely mound of green,
A little flag above him very neat and clean,
And the May-time breezes blowing through the grasses very soft and sweet,
And the little children wondering why the drums so slowly beat.
They’ve been told there was a solider in the days, before they came,
Who marched away to battle when the world wassail aflame,
For they heard us talk about him, and they must have heard us sigh,
But they have no understanding go the reason soldiers die.
Only those who’ve lived in war-time know the anguish and its pain,
And the anxious weeks of waiting and the real, that fall like rain,
Only those who’ve lost a soldier understand Memorial Day,
And the bitter cost of freedom, which the brave go forth to pay.
Now the little children come to the graves with pretty flowers,
And we try to teach them something of the memory that is ours,
But, sometime when they are older, they may come to understand,
T’was for them he went to battle on a far-off foreign land.”
At 1 o’clock p.m., the procession was formed by Chief Marshal Colonel A.J. Myers with a platoon of city police at the front followed by the Grafton band leading the mayor and town council, the orators in carriages. The veterans of Reno post No.7, the colors, the Sons of Veterans acting as an escort to the veterans. The Reform school band and the cadet corps of the school I charge of Superintendent Darnell, Vincent’s band, the civic societies. The Keyser band at the head of the carriages carrying notables and citizens which moved down Main Street to Latrobe and to West Grafton for the afternoon ceremony exercises. On Sunday, prior to Memorial Day Reno post No. 7 and the members of the Sons of Veterans with flags flying and drums beating moved in s body to Andrews Methodist Episcopal church to hear Reverend John Beddow deliver a beautiful memorial sermon on “The Christian Soldier.” The choir sang for the opening hymn at this service the National Anthem “America.”
On Sunday, June 1, Hiawatha Tribe No. 9 Independent Order of Redmen held their 12th Annual Memorial service in Bluemont cemetery. Reverend M.L. Smith led the devotional exercises and Attorney J. Granville St. Clair delivered a very beautiful commemorative address in a eulogy to those members who had joined their brothers in the land of the Greatest Spirit.
Joseph O’Hara, for more than a quarter of a century served as supervisor of track for the Baltimore and Ohio railroad on the section from Fetterman to Valley Falls, died at his home in Fetterman, Thursday, May 22,1902, and his remains were interred in Bluemont cemetery.


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