FIFTEENTH WARD’S TRIBUTE TO SERVICE MEN.
Two Thousand Attend Impressive Exercises in Lansingburgh—Tablet on Granite Base in Front of Unitarian Church—Memorials for Families of Dead Heroes—Speech of Secretary of State—Letters From Generals Pershing and O’Ryan.
The opportunity and duty of America to serve mankind as a result of this nation’s participation in the World War were emphasized by each of the leading speakers at the impressive ceremonies held yesterday afternoon in front of All Souls’ Unitarian Church [in 2017, the Fifth Avenue A. M. E. Zion Church], at Fifth Avenue and [One Hundred] Third Street, Lansingburgh, in connection with the unveiling of the monument provided by the citizens of the Fifteenth War, in commemoration of the young men of the ward who served in the World War. The chief speaker was Secretary of State Francis M. Hugo, who delivered an eloquent address on the subject “Americanism.” Other speakers were Rev. Dr. Henry R. Freeman, Rev. Charles J. Dutton, Mayor Burns and Prof. Neil K. White, Superintendent of the Lansingburgh Schools.
Weather conditions for the event were perfect, and the area in front of the church was solidly packed with people, nearly 2,000 being in attendance. The ceremonies were opened with the playing of “America” by Kirkpatrick’s Band. The opening prayer was offered by Rev. George Fairlee.
Frank M. Baucus, President of the committee, made a few introductory remarks, and read letters from Gen. John J. Pershing and Major Gen. John F. O’Ryan, expressing regret at their inability to be present, and praising the part taken by the young men of Troy in the war, the latter referring particularly to the Twenty-seventh Division. Following Mr. Baucus’s remarks, Mrs. William Townley Lawrence rendered a solo.
The unveiling of the handsome granite monument erected by the citizens of the Fifteenth Ward was preceded by an address by Secretary of State Hugo. The unveiling was by two soldiers and two sailors, Allen Horton, Joseph Douglas, David Delory and George McIntosh. The monument is of granite with a bronze tablet bearing the inscription: “In commemoration of our men of the Fifteenth Ward who answered their country’s call and served for liberty and democracy in the World War 1917-1918. The right is more precious than peace.”
“I consider it a great honor to be asked to come here, representing the state of New York, to pay tribute to the men of the Fifteenth Ward of the city of Troy who, in the language of your commemorative tablet, ‘Answered their country’s call and served for liberty and democracy,'” declared Secretary of State Hugo at the unveiling of the tablet.
“Ever since the ships reversed their courses and started to bring back the boys in khaki, nearly one year ago, the communities of people all over the land, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, have vied with each other in the spontaneity of the welcome that they have accorded these returning heroes from across the seas. And not only to those who have returned but in memory of the ones that paid the supreme sacrifice, we gratefully erect this shaft, in order that posterity, as well as the living, may appreciate what these boys did, and ever revere their memories. All honor to those men of the Fifteenth Ward of Troy who, during the last two years, counted their own fortunes last and their country’s cause first.”
Continuing, Secretary of State Hugo recounted some of the deeds of valor performed by our youth on the battlefields of France: “You all know the record of achievement of our gallant troops at Chateau-Thierry, St. Mihiel and in the Argonne Forest. On this last named drive, which started about one year ago to-day, our artillery poured a hail of fire upon the enemy of more than one million shells in less than four hours. You know how our own New York boys of the Twenty-seventh Division, including the boys from Troy, broke that concrete and supposedly irresistible bulwark, the Hindenburg line. General Pershing paid eloquent tribute to these splendid fighters when he said: ‘When I think of their heroism, their patience under hardships, their unflinching spirit of offensive action, I am filled with emotion which I am unable to express. Their deeds are immortal and they have earned the eternal gratitude of their country.'”
Turning to reconstruction problems, Mr. Hugo concluded: “It will require all of the practical idealism of the youth of America to solve successfully the problems of reconstruction to which they have fallen heir. It was this same practical idealism which caused so many of our boys to offer up their lives—to die willingly, if necessary—while fighting in far-off France. With a spirit of unrest and discontent, demanding an undivided allegiance to our country, there is another call to patriotic duty to-day no less pressing. The bugle of our common patriotism is sounding reveille, not taps.”
Vocal selections were rendered by a quartette consisting of Mrs. Lawrence, Mrs. Edna Herrick Peck, William C. Colburn, and Augustus T. Seibert. Speaking on behalf of the city of Troy, Mayor Burns urged that the lessons taught by the war should not be forgotten now that the war was over. Some people, Mr. Burns added, were showing a tendency to forget them. Mr. Burns spoke with pride of the part taken by the young men of this city in the winning of the war.
Illumined and engrossed memorials in frame were presented to the families of the nine young men who gave their lives in service by Rev. Charles J. Dutton, pastor of All Souls’ Church. Those who died in service were Walter Van Dyke-Dater, Floyd C. Mosher, Benjamin Buckley, Walter Clark Chambers, Edward J. Daley, John W. Inglis, John J. Murray, jr., William Frederick Schutt and Frederick W. Heimburg.
A large framed memorial was presented to the Haskell School, and accepted by Superintendent Neil K. White, who said it was particularly fitting that the gallantry of the young men of this city should serve as an inspiration to the rising generation through such a memorial. The ten memorials were engrossed and illumined by Rutherford Hayner.
Rev. Dr. Freeman declared that the responsibility of the United States to mankind did not end with the end of the war, but that, on the contrary, our part in the war had opened to us a broader and deeper responsibility. “As the Mohawk flows into the Hudson,” he said, “so should the service men have rendered to mankind in time of war flow into a broader and deeper service in times of peace.”
The ceremonies were closed by the playing of “The Star Spangled Banner” by Kirkpatrick’s Band.
The text of the letter from General Pershing follows:
American Expeditionary Force,
Office of the Commander-in-Chief,
Washington, D. C., Sept. 13, 1919.
Mr dear Mr. Baucus:
I appreciate very much your invitation to me to be present at the exercises for the unveiling of a boulder, which is to serve as a memorial to our young men who served in the war, and I regret very much that my present engagements make it impossible for me to accept. With assurance of my kindest regards,
JOHN J. PERSHING.
The text of Major General O’Ryan’s letter follows:
Headquarters New York Division,
Room 829 Municipal Building,
New York city.
My dear Mr. Baucus:
I regret that engagements will prevent my acceptance of your very kind and attractive invitation to be with you at the memorial exercises at Troy on September 21. Troy has every reason to be proud of the valor and accomplishment of its representatives in this war. Certainly that comment is particularly true of the Twenty-seventh Division. The record of the Second infantry, officially designated during the war as the One Hundred and Fifth Infantry, constitutes a brilliant page in the military history of the state. The present commanding officer of the Second Infantry, Col. Ransom H. Gillet, set a high standard for valor and determination in battle. The other men of Troy in this division emulated his fine example. I extend my best wishes for the occasion.
JOHN F. O’RYAN.
Mrs. Edward Elliott Draper has been appointed Chairman of a committee to arrange a street dance Wednesday evening in honor of the men of the Fifteenth Ward who served in the world war. Mrs. Draper will name her assistants on the committee.
Troy Times. September 22, 1919: 5 col 2.