Armistice Day, 1918
Ninety years ago this week, at 11:00 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month, the War to End All Wars, the Great War, now called the First World War, ended. The following year, President Wilson proclaimed Armistice Day, and by 1921, Congress declared the federal holiday.
Kingston celebrated news of the armistice with “the ringing of bells and the blowing of whistles” according to the Old Colony Memorial on the following Friday, November 15, 1918. Businesses and schools closed and patriotic speeches and songs filled the air. The next day, an impromptu victory parade “traversed the principal streets of town…followed by a mass meeting on the Town Green.” Here are two views of the parade.
A more formal recognition of the war’s end took place in 1919. In March, Town Meeting appropriated $500 to celebrate. An appointed “Welcome Home Committee,” visited all returning servicemen and nurses, presenting each with a bronze token of appreciation for service to town and country. In October, a special “Welcome Home Day” was held with a parade, band concert, decorations, speeches and a turkey supper at the Town House.
Ninety years later, Veterans Day honors all who served. Thank a veteran when you have the chance.