Vol – 1, No – 9
CONCERNING VETERAN’S DAY
Early in the years of the Great Depression, as a first grader, the real meaning of November 11th was impressed upon this writer. At 11 AM the school bell was rung and the children of all grades stood beside their desks for a minute of silence in commemoration of the Armistice which brought the Great War of 1914-1918 to an end.
Since 1918 the United States has been engaged in three other major conflicts and Armistice Day has been changed to Veterans’ Day in honor of all those who have served. This change is understandable. It is difficult to accept, however, the latest tampering with Veterans’ Day. We refer to placing it on a Monday in October in order to provide a three-day holiday which is also becoming a gigantic sale day, in competition with the birthday of George Washington. Hopefully, without sounding too old-fashioned or sentimental, it is our feeling that it would be better to designate the October date as simply a “Business Holiday” and not designate the memory of those who served by calling it Veterans’ Day. Under the circumstances where the meaning of the holiday is almost completely lost, better no Veterans’ Day at all.
Harking back to the Great War of 1914-1918, it is interesting to note that there are two memorials in Prince George’s County which were erected to the memory of all of the citizens of the County who lost their lives in that conflict. In 1919, just one year after the Armistice, the County erected a monument (fountain) on the Court House lawn, bordering Main Street in Upper Marlboro. In recent years the location of the monument was changed to the far left side of the lawn, set back from the street.
The Upper Marlboro bears the following inscription:
THE RIGHT WILL PREVAIL
This monument perpetuates the memory of the sons and daughters of Prince George’s County who true to the tradition of their County To the spirit of that service, tribute is here paid by a grateful people. J. M. Miller, Sc.(ulptor) W. G. Bucher, Arch.(itect) J. Arthur Emerick Co., Founders, Baltimore A.D. 1919
On the opposite side of the monument is the following inscription:
ERECTED 1919 These men from Prince George’s County made the supreme sacrifice defending the liberty of mankind.
(The list of names follows.)
|Bladensburg, Prince George's County, Maryland, |
Peace Cross Monument
World War I Memorial
John Peter Thompson,
Pri. Geo.'s Historic Preservation Commission 2012
The most well known of the two memorials in Prince George’s, primarily because of its imposing size and its location, is the Peace Cross Monument in Bladensburg. Situated in the center of the intersection of two major arteries, Bladensburg Road (Rt. 1) and Defense Highway (Rt. 240, old Rt. 40), it has achieved landmark status over the years.
(Until recent years it was the point of reference for the famous Bladensburg floods.)
The fund drive for the famous Peace Cross was begun early in 1919 by Mr. John Riggles of Lanham and Mrs. J.H. Norman of Hyattsville. Individual contributions ranged from 50¢ to $100, and the three local newspapers (The Washington Star, The Times and the Washington Post) as well as three department stores (Woodward & Lothrop, S. Kann & Sons and Lansburg Bros.) each contributed $100.
Numerous benefits were held and a total of $1,523.16 was collected, but the drive began to wind down by late 1920. At this point the Snyder-Farmer Post of the American Legion agreed to assume responsibility for the completion of the Peace Cross. Snyder-Farmer Post No. 3 of the American Legion was officially recognized on July 8, 1919, the third in the State of Maryland.
Most of the Legionnaires had been members of Hyattsville’s old Company F, Maryland National Guard, which became part of the 115th Infantry when they were mustered into federal service andsent to France. (A charter member from another part of the County was the late Rep. Lansdale G. Sasscer of Upper Marlboro.) The Post was named for Maurice B. Snyder and George W. Farmer, both of Hyattsville, who lost their lives on October 8, 1918 in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. The Peace cross was dedicated on July 12, 1925. The total cost, including the wall around the mound to protect it from the floods, was approximately $25,000. Of this amount, about $23,000 was raised and donated by Post No. 3.
At the base of the huge cross these four words appear on each side:
VALOR, ENDURANCE, COURAGE, DEVOTION
On the face of the cross at the junction of the two arms is a gold star bearing the letters “U.S.” in red in the center. Encircling the Star is a blue wreath. The inscription on the bronze tablet is as follows:
1917 This Memorial Cross 1918 dedicated to the heroes of Prince George’s County, Maryland, who lost their lives in the Great War for the Liberty of the World.
Albert N. Baden H. Irvin Dennison Ernest O. Gardner
Henry H. Boswell Wilmer A. Disney Milton E. Hartmen
Herman E. Burgess Joseph B. Edelen Thomas E. Hawkins
Clarence Butler George W. Farmer Frank Holmes
Vincent G. Cooley Thomas N. Fenwick Henry Lewis Hulbert
James Cooper Edward H. Fletcher Charles E. Huntemann
Matthew Curtin Joseph Henry Ford William Lee
E. Pendleton Magruder William Redmond Edward Shoults
E. Monshuer Maxwell Frank Richmond Albert Smith
Clarence McCausland Henry P. Robinson Maurice B. Snyder
Lee Earle Merson Theodore Rochester John A. Sprigg
Howard H. Morrow Frank C. Rorabaugh Pierre C. Stevens
Isaac Parker Robert C. Rusk Kenneth P. Strawn
James F. Quisenberry John H. Seaburn William A. Tayman
Elmer Thomas Elzie Ellis Turner Walter E. Wilson
Benjamin E. Thompson Herbert J. White Herman Winter