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The 1958 Memorial Day services included the traditional parade through downtown Yellow Springs to Glen Forest Cemetery. Here, the parade marches North up Xenia Ave., past a two story painted brick building — what was then the Antioch Bookplate Company, and is now the home of Toxic Beauty Records, Jennifer's Touch and Bonadies Glasstudio.

News from the Past — Memorial Day, 1958

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From the News archives, 1958:

With two school bands, the American Legion and Legion Auxiliary, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and Brownies in the line of March, Yellow Springs made its traditional parade to Glen Forest Cemetery Friday to hold Memorial Day services.

Wendell Grimes of the Legion served as master of ceremonies and school superintendent R. E. Augspurger gave the principal address. A Legion firing squad fired a salute to the war dead and trumpeters from the Bryan band played ‘taps’ to end the day’s ceremonies.

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Mr. Augspurger set the tone for his talk as he quoted from Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address,” “It is rather for us, the living, to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us … for which they gave their last full measure of devotion … that government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth!”

“If Lincoln were alive what would he say is that task?” asked Mr. Augspurger.

“Woodrow Wilson called World War I a struggle to keep the world safe for democracy,” he recalled.

“Franklin Roosevelt, after Pearl Harbor, said ‘the true good we seek … a world which will be safe for our children … Liberty under God.'”

Quoting from the preamble of UNESCO (United National Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) Mr. Augspurger declared, “Since wars began in the minds of men — it is in the minds of men that the defense of Peace must be constructed. Through education we must build the defense of Peace.” 

“Each of us … must help … to free ourselves from … belief that war ever settles anything.”

Technical assistance, hospitals, schools are effective ways of sowing “seeds of understanding and faith in which some day the seeds of war will no longer germinate,” Mr. Augspurger went on. 

“The idea of waging peace through education … is one that I believe should receive the enlistment of as much energy as we can throw into the conflict …” 

“We shall push forward slowly toward the dawn of a brighter day.”

— Yellow Springs News, Thursday, June 5, 1958

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4 Responses to “News from the Past — Memorial Day, 1958”

  1. Carlaleesie Romanoff says:

    I never much cared for parades as a child in the bigger city; spectators were always crammed together and I was so small, just about butt height and no one ever lifted me up. The noise always bothered me, too. Having tinnitus probably didn’t help me appreciate all the horn blowing. Once, I just wandered away and rested on a bench in the courtyard of a nearby church admiring a statue of Jesus and smelling the flowers until someone noticed me missing. I felt some presence there. (This small town parade pictured here looks more user friendly for children) Thank you for sharing.

  2. Philip Lawson says:

    I remember how hot it was in our blue and white wool band uniforms.
    That’s me carrying the big sousaphone. Yes, it was heavy.

  3. Michael Hughes says:

    In the mid-1950’s, my memory of the Memorial Day ceremony includes being one the young boys scrambling to retrieve some of the twenty-one expended .30 caliber cartridges scattered on the ground beneath the American Legion riflemen.

  4. John Dawson says:

    In 1951 I marched in that band to the Glen Forest Cemetery, when the aftermath of the Second World War was very much on the minds of many. Being the trumpet player in the band I played taps at the cemetery, after which six American Legion members fired a salute. I was very proud to do it, and remember it vividly to this day.

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