Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Monday, May 30, 2022

Memorial Day Weekend: Welcome Home Yankee Division

Countless cities and towns around American held welcome home parades for their returning Doughboys, Marines, and Sailors. I've presented articles on a number of these over the years.  New York, for instance, had the most events as far as I can tell hosting parades for the Fighting 69th of the Rainbow Division, the 27th New York National Guard Division, and the Harlem Hellfighters' Regiment. My home town, San Francisco, had a memorable, rip-roaring parade for its contingent in the 91st Wild West Division.

The Yankee Division, 25 April 1919

The parade held in Boston on 25 April 1919 for the 26th Yankee Division, however, seems to stand out in a number of ways. Since the division was constructed from National Guard units from all six New England states it was more of a regional affair, so it attracted attendees (well over a  million) from all over the region. As the video above proclaims, except for the 2004 World Series victory parade, the 1919 affair was called the "most glorious" public event in Boston's history. Also, for a mere 25 cents, attendees could purchase an outstanding 54-page fully illustrated program (downloadable below) which describes the Yankee Division's history and operations during the war with plenty of maps and photographs of the boys in action. A full news account of the day's events can be found HERE, too.

Click Here to Download the Program

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