PHOTO OF THE DAY: REMEMBERING THE ARMISTICE
An American flag in front of the Freeman Junior-Senior High School is lit by the setting sun — an appropriate image on this Veterans Day. A Courier editorial in the Nov. 10 edition reflects on former publisher J.J. Mendel’s account of Nov. 11, 1918.
When the news reached Freeman Monday morning that Kaiser Wilhelm had abdicated and the German Plenipotentaries had signed the armistice, preparations were immediately made for the celebration of the glad tidings,” Mendel wrote. “The mayor of the town ordered all businesses places closed and the farmers were notified per phone of the celebration. At 2 o’clock a parade was led by the Boy Scouts, the High School and Public School, followed by faculty and students of Freeman College. Then came the public until a vast throng of several hundred people surged up and down the streets until they reached the town hall where a platform had been hastily prepared. The speakers were local talent, Supt. Kaufman presided.
After singing our national hymns and patriotic songs, the chairman announced the official news of the terminated hostilities and introduced Atty Graber who represented the business and professional men of the town. Mr. Graber dwelt upon the noble ideals of our country in entering the war unparalleled in history and asked the people for loyal support of the government during the coming peace negotiations in order that our president might be able to carry out this greatest of all program ever undertaken by any nation – that of the democratization of the world.
Prof Regier representing the schools followed. He pointed out the great problems the reconstruction period will bring upon us and urged the school children and students to prepare well for those big problems. Rev. Schoeder of the Lutheran Church spoke of the great sacrifices our solider boys had made and urged the citizens to do their duty even as the soldier boys had done their’s in order that our government might be able to conclude a just and lasting peace …. with fairness even to our enemies. Rev. Basinger of the Mennonite Church concluded the program by pointing out the League of Nations to do away with all future wars as we hope and that carrying out of the ideals we have placed before ourselves all the peoples of the world.
The program closed with the singing of America and people felt they had celebrated in a safe and sane way, well expressing their joy over glad tidings and reiterating their loyalty to their country which they had so well supported in time of war in the campaigns for liberty bonds, Red Cross funds, YMCA, etc.