Old Time ValuesWorld War II
by Gordon Cornell
Village and Town Historian
As far back as 1908, and possibly earlier, my Dad, Lewis Cornell, was a member of the Broadalbin Citizens Band. This meant participating each year in the Memorial Day parade as well as the annual Fourth of July parade(s). He looked at this civic responsibility with pride and obligation.
Then came the Great World War and Dad proudly wore the uniform of his country as did many other men from our community. Dad returned home from military service in early 1919 and resumed his place in the band as well as his employment at the Broadalbin Knitting Company.
Dad and his pre-war sweetheart, Millie Street, agreed to be married, and Memorial Day was selected as the date. By choosing May 30, they were assured of having the day free from work in which to celebrate their anniversary in years to come. And, of course, Memorial Day was to be a day of great celebration for those servicemen who had returned as well as a time to remember those who had made the supreme sacrifice.
Mother was soon to find out, however, that the wedding would have to wait until Dad fulfilled his civic duty by participating with the Citizens Band which led the parade, that was followed by a recognition dinner at Kunjamuck Hall, which was in turn followed by a band concert in the center of town. Once these events were completed, Dad changed from his band uniform, picked up his bride to be, and they made their way to the Methodist Parsonage where Rev. B. L. Crapo performed the 4:30 ceremony.
Mother always said that she had to accept second place behind the Memorial Day Ceremony and the events that took place that first May 30th following the end of the war.
Sadly, there are too few today who are willing to let a Memorial Day observance interfere in any way with their personal enjoyment. How easily we forget!
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Copyright ©2001, Gordon Cornell
Copyright ©2001, Allyn Hess Perry, Jeanette Shiel
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Last updated Tuesday, 13-May-2008 13:37:54 PDT