The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Columns

April 5, 2014

Area heartily welcomed home troops from WWI

(Continued)

The fire bell signals rang out, and Oneontans turned out in force. The train was probably a little late, as it was reported that the troops were welcomed all along the route of the D&H, as “numerous citizens gathered to cheer the boys from many farmhouses west of Worcester,” complete with waving handkerchiefs.
“In the city elaborate decorations were made, both along the route and elsewhere, and the streets were cleared as much as possible of ice and snow. Some show windows were especially attractive and scarcely a merchant failed to make some display to honor the boys.” Thousands lined the parade route.
Two bands were at the head of the procession, as were veterans of the Civil War. About 200 other men who had arrived home earlier from the war also participated in the march to the armory.
“The cheer of the crowd was instantaneous as the sturdy form of Captain (Royal C.) Johnson and the heroes of the 27th came alongside and it continued until the end of the parade. The soldiers marched with the firm step and square shoulders of the seasoned soldier. It was no fulsome cheering to those who had an opportunity to see the smiles of gladness and welcome that illuminated the faces of many in the throng as they caught sight of a familiar figure among the brave boys in the line. The march to the armory was one continuous ovation and must have meant much to the boys.”
A brief ceremony followed inside the armory, and then the men were free to join their family and friends. A dinner and dance was also planned on Tuesday, April 22, but it was reported that only 150 attended at the state armory.
During World War I, one Oneonta boy had died in combat, another from wounds and two others from disease.

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