LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
May 31, 1940

Parade One of Most Brilliant In Recent Years

Ideal weather brought large crowds to the LeMars cemeteries Thursday morning to participate in the Decoration Day services.  At both cemeteries several hundred people had assembled before the exercises began to decorate the graves of loved ones and otherwise beautify their resting place.

The column formed in the usual order at the city building and at 9 a.m. moved along the customary line of march to St. Joseph cemetery where the school chorus sang America, Dorothy Koopman gave Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, Donald Traufler read Logan’s Order and a salute by the firing squad and taps followed the decoration of soldier graves.

The order of parade included Jacob Koenig, marshal of the day, and three mounted orderlies, the colors, LeMars Municipal Band, Co. K, I.N.G., Commander A. W. Crouch, Colonel Frank Hallagan, the speaker, and city officials, veterans of the Spanish-American and World Wars and the auxiliaries of the three patriotic organizations, LeMars high school band, and Boy and Girl Scouts.

At the City cemetery, A. W. Crouch, commander of Mower Post, G.A.R., presided assisted by his adjutant, J. G. Koenig.  Rev. W. M Hubbard delivered the opening prayer, Bill Irwin gave Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, Evelyn Truesdell read Logan’s Order and Jacob Koenig read the G. A. R. Ritual prescribed for such occasions.  The decoration service for the unknown dead was in charge of the three woman’s auxiliaries and they were assisted by the Girl Scouts in decorating the soldiers monument and the graves of veterans of three wars buried in the cemetery.  The LeMars Muncipal band played two selections.

The address was delivered by Colonel Frank Hallagan of the adjutant general’s office in Des Moines, who is also a member of the state legislature from Polk County. He reviewed the development of Decoration Day since its institution in 1863 and said it was not only “a day to keep green the graves of our soldier dead, but a day to review memories of all our loved ones who have passed on.”

After paying tribute to the sacrifice and devotion of our soldiers in all our wars, he outlined the special significance of the day to the largest and more recent group, the American Legion. He said the Legion was striving to build a memorial of service for its comrades who had gone before.  Its first consideration was the maimed and disabled, the dependents of veterans who were robbed of opportunity through death or disability and said the Legion program includes three general additional divisions, education, youth activity and community service.  In the first it cooperates with the schools, in the second the Scouts and the other youth movements and in community service with other civic organizations.

The speaker said the members of the American Legion hate war because they know what it is and believe the best protection against it is adequate National defense.  He cited what is happening in Europe as evidence that if we would preserve for our children the liberties our fathers gave us, we must prepare to defend it against the Godless hordes now overrunning Europe.

Following the address, a detail from Co. K. fired a salute, Rev. C. M. King pronounced the benediction, taps was sounded and the municipal band played, “Star Spangled Banner.”


~Submitted for posting by volunteer, Linda Ziemann