Veterans organizations Honor Dead Comrades
Marching Units In Flag-Draped Streets Inspiring Spectacle
Norwood, along with the rest of this warring nation, observed the 21th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that put an end to World War I, while many of the onlookers at the parade yesterday morning are warriors of World War II some of them not born when hostilities ceased nearly a quarter century ago.
Up from the Balch School mobilization point yesterday morning, under a bright sun, moved members of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign war and auxiliary together with patriotic organizations, while Legionnaires and four units of the crack St. Catherine’s drum corns played martial music.
Along Flag-draped streets the parade, more solemn in demeanor than in the past, stopped briskly north on Washington street and wheeled into squares in front of the Memorial Hall at the Municipal Building. Officals of the Legion and Veterans addressed the throng.
The was no easy feeling of jubilation that for 2 long years marked the observance of November 11th throughout the world. Conditions are grim the speakers noted, and once again, as in 1917, the sons and daughters of this land are called to give their all for liberty-loving peoples everywhere.
In the crowd, though not in uniform, were many ex-soldiers of 1917-18. In the crowd, too, were their sons, now in the uniform of the armed forces.
Armistice Day yesterday had many strange thought little noted changes from previous years. More flags were flown from homes, to add to the always present flags adorning the mastheads of poles on Municipal buildings.
Norwood has more than a thousand hoys in the uniforms of Marine, Coast Guardsmen, Soldiers, and Sailors, and another 150 will be in uniform before this month rolls to an end. Everybody in the crowd seemed to be thinking of them and right down to young children with their Inevitable holiday balloons, there was a sobering atmosphere.
Standard bearers of the Legion and Veterans dipped colors before the Memorial Hall and then grouped Flags in front of the cannon that faces the square.
There were no shouts as the parade swung along the main street. There was no cheering when the exorcises ended at the Municipal Building. The crowd quietly dispersed as though cognizant of the awful significance of the occasion.
For a time there were grave doubts whether the town would observe Armistice Day. It was felt in some quarters to attempt a celebration of an event that proved a mockery, would itself be adding to the mockery. Legionnaires and Veterans held long conferences to deckle. The decision to observe the day was emphatic. If is could not be a joyous celebration as in the past it could be a stern reminder to the living that there was still work to do, that sacrifices have yet to be made, that losses are in the offing. It was in this spirit Norwood citizens kept the observance yesterday.
Early in the morning the sky was gray with a chill wind threatening more rain like the night before. As the uniformed paraders came to assemble at the Balch School on Washington Street, the clouds scattered and the sun broke through, a welcome relief for marchers and crowd alike. The sun was warm by 10 o’clock as the parade wended its way north to the Municipal Building.
At dusk yesterday, Legion Commander John MeLennon and a detail of Legionnaires took in the flags that had floated all day from the short staffs along Washington Street. Armistice Day was over. The war in Europe, Africa and Asia was on, and Norwoodites turned once more to news from embattled areas, until next year or whenever another Armistice will bring peace and victory.
The State Guard was not in the line of march being under military orders for other duties at all times.
Missing from the parade, too, was Father Christopher Griffin who always leads his trophy-winning corps in civic and patriotic exhibitions. He is recovering at the Norwood Hospital from an operation. His condition, hospital authorities said, is good. The four units that paraded were the Senior Boys, the Senior Girls, the Junior Girls and the Junior Boys.
Nov 11, 1942 Norwood Messenger