Wednesday, May 26, 2021

A SOLDIER'S WELCOME

 Imagine this scene for just a small contingent of 36 soldiers who were the first to come home after the war in 1919 

The First 36 Soldiers to Return Were Greeted by Thousands!
  Buffalo gave a dramatic, joyful welcome to her first contingent of returned soldier heroes yesterday when thirty-six members of the 102nd Trench Mortar Battery, the old Troop I, came proudly home after several months in the war zone. They reached Buffalo on February 5, 1919, only a small band, but welcomed by thousands. From the time their train reached the station at 10:30 o'clock yesterday morning until the last dance had been finished at the Knights of Columbus service club last night, Buffalo poured forth its tribute to the lads who have brought glory and honor to the city. 
   The troops reached the city on a special train over the New York Central, and, when they detrained, a clamorous, insistent throng of relatives, friends and admirers rushed past the station guards, brushed a cordon of police aside and gave them a greeting that must have been in strange contrast to the scenes through which they passed during the great conflict. The men of the 102d battery fell into line for their march of triumph through long lines of eager, welcoming thousands who flanked Main Street for blocks with a solid mass of humanity.  With heads erect, eyes alight with vigor and health and their faces tanned to a ruddy glow the thirty-six men tramped through Main Street to the accompaniment of hand clapping, cheers and the shrieking of hundreds of whistles. Flags fluttered from every point of vantage and automobile sirens joined in the pandemonium of welcome. It was a scene that was strangely reminiscent of the peace day celebration, when cheering thousands poured through the downtown streets and cheered until they could no longer articulate.

  Members of the 92nd Division of African-American troops return home from WWI. Scene is on Exchange Street shortly after leaving the NYC Terminal. For a full detailed account of the organization & fighting campaigns of the famous Ninety-Second  as recorded by the division's official historian, Click Here. 

  Yesterday's march through Main Street brought out thousands who gave full vent to long pent emotions. Mingled with the cheers and the cheery, 'God bless you,' of the crowd which lined the sidewalks and overflowed onto the pavements could be heard, now and then, the stifled sob of a man or woman as the scene brought to their memory lost ones who will never return. Factory whistles began their shrieking salvos of welcome at 9:55 o'clock, the time the train bearing the men was scheduled to arrive in the city. For more than fifteen minutes they continued their lusty welcome for the heroes. 
  The soldiers were met at the station by a delegation composed of Colonel Newton E. Turgeon, chairman of the citizens' committee named by Mayor Buck in charge of the reception of homecoming troops, Councilmen Charles M. Heald, Arthur W. Kreinheder and Frederick G. Bagley, City Clerk Daniel J. Sweeney and Chairman Frank A. Darn of the Board of Supervisors. Their escort consisted of a detail of mounted police, a band, and a detachment of the 74th Regiment under command of Captain Ansley W. Sawyer. The line formed on Exchange Street and the route of march was Exchange Street to Main, to Tupper to Pearl. 

27th Division Returns to Buffalo - view at Main & Genesee Streets at 10:30 a.m., April 1, 1919, when the 108th Infantry and 106th Field Artillery (old 74th and 65th) came home from France. Wounded Men in autos.

Exchange Street was a seething mass of human beings, each apparently intent upon being first to greet the soldier lads. As the column reached Main and Exchange streets hundreds of belated welcomers rushed from the lower end of the main thoroughfare and literally surrounded the returned heroes. Their progress through Main Street was repeatedly interrupted by enthusiastic friends who disregarded the Police escort and rushed into the street to grasp their friends by the hand to extend their heartfelt greetings upon their safe arrival home. 

  A stirring scene was enacted at Pearl and Tupper streets, where relatives and friends of the men gathered in large numbers to greet them with all the cordiality and happiness they have been hoarding for weary months. The motor corps girls drew the curtain on this touching scene when they snatched up the men in waiting automobiles and whisked them away to the 74th Regiment Armory, where they received the official welcome of the city and what's just as important-their first feed in the home town in many months.

Memorial Day 2021 

With all the due respect we need to show our veterans as in the above story, this day is set aside for those who did not have the warm feeling of a walk down Main St. to cheering crowds, clapping hands and music.  Their welcome home was more somber and private, if they were able to return home at all.  There were no shaking of hands,  pats on the back or embracing hugs for these men and women.
(click on picture)
To them we must pay homage with pictures, memories, prayers and tears. It seems so little for those who gave so much but in this physical world, that is what we have to offer. Our  gratitude for your service and sacrifice for this country and free nations around the world is boundless.   You will always be missed, and you will always be remembered.  Thank You....and to the families of those who we are remembering today, may you find peace, along with the strength and support you need to carry you through life.  God Bless.  

Jerry M. Malloy


Sunday, May 16, 2021

Knight's of St. John Storm the City of Buffalo


CITY  WELCOMES  THE 
KNIGHT'S  OF  ST.  JOHN

10,000 Visitors From All Parts of the Country Expected Here This Week For Their Convention


DELEGATIONS OF KNIGHTS THRONG INTO CITY 

5,000 IN PARADE TODAY




The Knight's of St. John Arch at Main & Clinton Sts.  Buffalo, N.Y. 1906


JUNE 25, 1906
  Thousands of Knights of St. John from various sections of the United States are here. They came in a steady stream of glittering uniforms all yesterday, last night and this morning to Buffalo to attend the first biennial and 27th annual convention of this popular Catholic fraternal organization. Their convention opens at the Teck Theatre with a large attendance of delegates from many states of the union. Supreme Secretary M.J. Kane, estimated last night that fully 5,000 men, carefully drilled and uniformed, would pass under the handsome welcome arch at Main and Clinton streets in the parade, and as this army will be greatly swelled by the delegates and ladies, the number of strangers to arrive today will be close to 10,000.

 The Knight's Arch photo is from the collection of Joseph
Schneggenburger, Buffalo,(1872-1960),German sculptor & 
artistic plaster worker. He may have been the creator of the arch
  Buffalo was ready for the Knights. A large majority of the business places along Main St. and other business streets were early decorated handsomely with flags, bunting and Knights of St. John Insignia. Headquarters had been opened at the Lafayette Hotel and there the delegates and their ladies registered, received their handsome badges, and soon were ready for the day's events. The local Knights had the 74th Regiment Band on duty all yesterday and last night, and again this morning, meeting each incoming delegation that came in by train or boat and escorting them to their headquarters.
  The hotels have nearly all expressed an outward welcome in one form or another. A hotel on West Huron St. has all its balconies outlined in colored lights and draped with yellow and white bunting and the Lafayette Hotel is well adorned with red, white and blue bunting. The large department stores also have draped their fronts lavishly. The Hens & Kelly Company has elaborate decorations of yellow and white bunting, flags and shields and long strings of tiny flags stretched vertically down the rows of windows. The Hengerer building is very attractive with its spread of yellow and white and red, and its big white bow stuck with small flags, over the middle lower windows.  The majority of the buildings along the street have at least a flag in recognition of their guests. 

 The big public feature of the convention, the parade, is scheduled to take place this afternoon, starting at 3 o'clock. The parade will move through Genesee and Franklin streets to the Terrace, thence to Main, to Genesee, to Michigan, to Broadway, To Emslie, and then countermarching to Ellicott Square, where it will be dismissed.
   The big arch at Main St. and Court is, however, the most striking object on the line of march. The 5,000 colored electric lamps which outline the structure and the words upon it will be lighted for the first time tonight.  Beneath the bow of the arch, the word “Welcome” is spelled in electric lights and surmounting the whole is the large Maltese Cross of the order, in red, white and yellow and illuminated by a thousand lamps.

Who Are the Knights of St. John?

   Following the end of the Civil War, there existed a real need for physical and spiritual healing. The Knights of St. John was formed in 1873 in Buffalo, New York, USA with the formation of two Local Commanderies under the 2nd Regiment of Buffalo, New York. In 1879, these many organizations, including the Knights of St. George, the Knights of St. Paul, the Knights of St. Louis, and the Knights of St. John met to form a greater society of Knights. They met in Baltimore, Maryland and formed themselves into the Roman Catholic Union of the Knights of St. John, later shortened to the Knights of St. John. 

  The Order was officially incorporated in the State of New York on May 6, 1886 and took as its mission: “a filial devotion and respect for the authority of the Roman Catholic Church, a sense of honor, love of truth, courage, respect for womanhood and a indiscriminating charity motivated by love of GOD.” They sought to care for spiritual, social and physical needs of their members and neighbors. In the pattern of the Knights of the Crusade, they cared for the victims of the war by forming a Widows and Orphan Fund.  In 1992, the name of the Order was officially changed to the Knights of St. John International to reflect the global structure of the Order.