1919 War Hero Memorial Pinery
1924 Armistice Day Dedication Ceremony
The Armistice Day Dedication Ceremony, November 11, 1924.
On Armistice Day (now Veteran's Day) in 1924, a third and final Dedication Ceremony was held at the Memorial Pinery. It was fitting this day was chosen, because November 11 marked the anniversary of the date the armistice was signed marking the end of the First World War. The ceremony dedicated a bronze tablet (still on the boulder) inscribed with the outline of the six-sided star and the names of the memorialized students. It replaced the marble tablet, and included one more student's name, that of Reese Davis, that had been recently found to have also died in service to his country. The money for the tablet was raised by the Junior Class that year, the class of 1926, and they were an integral part of the unveiling ceremony.
An assembly the morning of the dedication told the story of the Pinery, and the principal of the normal school, Dr. G.C.L. Reimer, urged the students to look upon Armistice Day as Peace Day, and not as a day which glorifies war. He denounced the failure of the present generation for not taking more decisive steps toward lasting peace and urged the coming generation not to fall down in accompanying that task. He said, "War is hell; it is murder; it is disgrace. Overcome it with peace."
Hundreds of Normal School students and towns people attended the noontime ceremony. An honor guard of nine veterans who were members of the Valley of Bloomsburg Post of the American Legion stood at attention in their uniforms, each one holding a large American flag. Students from the Junior High School and Junior Class marched to the pinery and formed a semi-circle while singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee." Boy and Girl scouts raised the flag, while everyone saluted and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. In front of each tree was a small white wooden cross with the name of a memorialized student, and the years they attended the normal school. And as a final tribute each cross had an American flag over it, that fluttered gently in the breeze during the ceremony. This marked the last official dedication at the Memorial Pinery until its rededication on May 1, 2002.
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