Opinion & Editorial

Reminiscing about holiday parades and celebrations past

When I was a young lad in the 1930s there were several holidays that were observed every year.
Naturally they included New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July (Independence Day), Labor Day, Armistice Day (later changed to Veterans’ Day), Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
I may have forgotten some, and not all meant schools were closed or workers had the day off. The days honoring the Armistice, Fourth of July and Memorial Day always were big holidays involving parades and speeches and citywide observance. The speeches were at the civic center and the parade started at the Memorial Park and monument. The flags were borne by the many Boy Scout troops and Girl Scouts. Participants were the Champion American Legion Drum & Bugle Corp, the Indian tribes and church groups. Of course all the local politicians were there, or they could kiss their careers goodbye.
The veterans from the wars were honored by being driven in new vehicles, mostly convertibles, furnished by car dealers. We had several vets from the Spanish American War and a couple from the Civil War that were in their late 80s or 90s. As many veterans as possible from the Great War, later called WWI were in the parade.
The streetlights were decorated with bunting and flags. Men would doff their hats whenever a flag came by in the parade. Men and women held their hand over their heart. Patriotism was paramount and sincere. These were grand and glorious celebrations and we felt so wonderful just for being citizens of this great nation and for having the women and men that served and defended out nation.
Perhaps the patriotism we had then was what led us to be willing to serve in WWII. The town I lived in the 1930s had a population of three times Creswell’s population now.
Speaking for myself only, I am proud when the city has an observance for remembrance of the sacrifice of families, men and women that won our freedom and defended it, be they Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, police forces and honest politicians.



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