The Great War

By Katie Hilton

Before you fire up the grill on Monday, please take time to remember more than 1 million countrymen who gave their lives in wartime to protect your freedoms.

The best tribute we can pay is to stay ever-vigilant so the American Experiment continues.

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On Monday, Holman-Howe Funeral Home will sponsor a Memorial Day remembrance that includes a special tribute to veterans of World War I.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of “the war to end war.” The ceremony at Mount Rose Memorial Park begins at 11 a.m. Dr. Tom Luthy will speak, and a wreath will be presented at Veterans Park. Portraits of Laclede County WWI veterans will be on display. A light lunch will conclude the event, which is open to the public.

A century ago, the community’s response to the Great War was unified and very patriotic. Frances Gleason set the scene in her centennial history, The First Hundred Years:

“In 1916, no one thought the boys would ever be called away from home, much less have to defend their homes. The horrid inventions of modern warfare were unknown. Only the oldest people remembered the Civil War, and the menace of the atrocities the Germans were inflicting on the helpless people of Europe seemed remote indeed.

“So why should the community not play at war for a few weeks? The whole town felt the exhilarating effects of the drum as the boys assembled on the school grounds for morning and evening drill.”

“The boys” were drafted and became Co. H., U.S. Infantry. They went to Camp Clark at Nevada. For a time, they enjoyed visits from family and food from home. But in December 1916, the company was ordered to Laredo, Texas, preparatory to invading Mexico. Eight months later, the government settled with Mexico, and “the boys” returned home. They didn’t stay long.

Katie Hilton

The Laclede County Record

100 E. Commercial St.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-9131