Veterans Day in Brighton, 2021, and the Buffalo Soldiers

Veterans Day in Brighton, 2021, and the Buffalo Soldiers

[11/11/21 Brighton Veterans Memorial in Buckland Park. At far left and right, members of the Brighton Police Department Honor Guard. At the podium, Bing Reaves, Sr,. Founder, Buffalo Soldiers Presentation Team. To his left, Roland Gray. Behind is Brighton Town Supervisor William Moehle. Except where indicated, all photos by David Kramer.]

Two days ago in Remembering Armistice Day, 11/11/1918, at the Brighton Memorial Library and Buckland Park, we told the story of the Veterans Day exhibit at the Brighton Memorial Library created by Adult Services Director Matthew Bashore that includes two newspapers from November 11th, 1918 I gladly donated to the BML collection.

[11/9/21 Brighton Memorial Library. (left) David Kramer with the 11/11/1918 edition of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and Matthew Bashore, BML Adult Services Manager, with the 11/11/1918 edition of the Rochester Times-Union. [Photo: Heather DeMay, BML staff from Remembering Armistice Day, 11/11/1918, at the Brighton Memorial Library and Buckland Park]

Today at Buckland Park, ceremonies commemorated the 103rd Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day. The 1921 Day was notable on several levels. First, as seen in the Democrat and Chronicle article, one hundred years ago, the first Unknown Soldier was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 11 Nov 1921

As described in the Arlington Nation Cemetery website:

On November 11, 1921, the Unknown was placed on a horse-drawn caisson and carried in a procession through Washington, D.C. and across the Potomac River. A state funeral ceremony was held at Arlington National Cemetery’s new Memorial Amphitheater, and the Unknown was interred in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

President Warren Harding places a wreath of flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Wikipedia) See  October 21st, 1920 in Rochester and Governor Harding’s return to normalcy. And the school named after him.

Nationwide, Americans observed two minutes of silence at the beginning of the ceremony. President Warren G. Harding officiated at the ceremony and placed the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military decoration, on the casket. Numerous foreign dignitaries presented their nations’ highest awards, as well.

PHOTO: A soldier with the 3rd US Infantry Regiment, known as ‘The Old Guard,’ moves flowers during a centennial commemoration event at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Va., Nov. 9, 2021. (Alex Brandon/Pool via AFP/Getty Images) From “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier marks 100 years honoring the nation’s war dead,” ABC News

The 1921 Day was also significant because on November 11th, 1921, the U.S.-German Peace Treaty became effective, officially ending hostilities between the United States and Germany. Since the U.S. Senate did not ratify the Versailles Treaty and the U.S. did not join the League of Nations, a separate peace had to be negotiated.

The New York World, August 26th, 1921. The U.S. – German Treaty was signed in August, but went to effect on Armistice Day, 1921 (rarenewspapers.com)

Woodrow Wilson defended America’s entrance into World War I, declaring: “I promise you that this will be the final war​—the war to end all wars.”​ As evidenced in the Democrat and Chronicle clipping on an arms limitation conference in Washington, D.C., 1921 marked a short period when Europe and America tentatively thought that perhaps Wilson’s prediction could be made true.

Of course, the U.S.- German Peace Treaty only lasted twenty years, when the U.S. and Germany declared a second war, one far worse than first. Unfortunately, we don’t celebrate every November 11th as marking The Final War. Had Wilson been right, we would no longer need Veterans Days or Tombs of Unknown Soldiers.

This is our fifth article on the Ceremonies, see ALL VETERANS DAY ARTICLES BELOW.

As seen in Memorial Day at Buckland and Highland Parks, last May the Buffalo Soldiers of VFW Post 9251 Pennington-Moye stole the show when they served as Color Guards.

Memorial Day, 2021. The Buffalo Soldiers of VFW Post 9251 Pennington-Moye. (l-r) Roland Gray with rifle; Robert Burgess with National Flag;  Danny Wyatt with POW-MIA Flag; Bing C. Reaves Sr. with rifle from  Memorial Day at Buckland and Highland Parks

The Buffalo Soldiers were back today.

11/11/21 Buffalo Soldiers of VFW Post 9251 Pennington-Moye with Special Guests: Brighton Police Chief David Catholdi, George Mcknight, Roland Gray, Director at Monroe County Veteran Services Nick Stefanovic, Louis Wilson, Andrae Evans, NYS Congressman Joseph Morell , Jimmie Highsmith, Charles Lane,  Ike Cuyler, Bing Reaves Sr.

While all veterans were honored, Brighton Town Supervisor William Moehle presented a Proclamation highlighting the educational work done by the Buffalo Soldiers of VFW Post 9251 Pennington-Moye. See Brighton Town Supervisor William Moehle’s remarks

Town of Brighton Proclamation

(left) Bing Reaves, Sr. with the Proclamation; (right) Brighton Town Supervisor signing the Proclamation.

Brighton Town Supervisor shaking hands with Roland Gray. In middle is Bing Reaves, Sr. [Photo: David Kotok]

Many friends of the magazine were there.

Brighton Town Historian Mary Jo Lamphear handing out programs.

Brighton Town Councilmember Robin Wilt, see On the electoral road with Robin Wilt

NYS Congressman Joseph Morelle addressing the gathering. See Why I voted for Adam Bello and a trip down Talker political memory lane, 2015 – 2021

(left) Monroe County Executive Adam Bello with David Kramer [Photo: Margaret Doran, Executive Assistant to the Director of Communications and Special Events at Monroe County] See Why I voted for Adam Bello and a trip down Talker political memory lane, 2015 – 2021

2020 Edward R. Crone Jr. (aka Billy Pilgrim) remembered at the Brighton Veterans Memorial in Buckland Park

2020 was notable for the presentation of Brighton Memorial Library Adult Services Manager and Historic Brighton President Matthew Bashore on the marker on the Monroe Avenue homesite dedicated to Edward R. Crone Jr. who died in WWII and was the inspiration for Kurt Vonnegut’s character Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse-Five.

Congressman Joe Morelle also addressed the gathering. 

Matthew Bashore, Brighton Veterans Memorial in Buckland Park, 11/11/20 [Photo: Maya Giron, RIT Photojournalism ’23] From Remembering Armistice Day, 11/11/1918, at the Brighton Memorial Library and Buckland Park

(left) Congressman Joe Morelle. In the background, Sarah Clark, representative elect in the 136th Assembly District seat. [11/11/20 Photo: David Kramer]; (right) at podium Brighton Town Supervisor William Moehle, behind him, Historic Brighton President Matt Bashore [11/11/20 Photo: Maya Giron, RIT Photojournalism ’23] From Edward R. Crone Jr. (aka Billy Pilgrim) remembered at the Brighton Veterans Memorial in Buckland Park

2019 A snowy 100th Veterans Day in Brighton and the Battle of the Bulge

In 2019, on a snowy celebration of the 100th Veterans Day, much of the program was dedicated to a Remembrance of Colonel James R. Vogel USMR and Brighton Town Board member who worked tireless to move the Memorial and its majestic Eagle from a vision into a reality.

Congressman Joe Morelle and then Monroe County Executive-elect Adam Bello addressed the gathering.

Brighton Veterans Memorial 11/11/19 [Photo: David Kramer] From A snowy 100th Veterans Day in Brighton and the Battle of the Bulge

Congressman Joe Morelle and Brighton Town Supervisor William Moehle [Photo: David Kramer] From A snowy 100th Veterans Day in Brighton and the Battle of the Bulge

Monroe County Clerk and Monroe County Executive-elect Adam Bello and Congressman Joe Morelle [Photo: David Kramer from A snowy 100th Veterans Day in Brighton and the Battle of the Bulge]

Monroe County Clerk and Monroe County Executive-elect Adam Bello and Brighton Town Supervisor William Moehle  [From Bello’s County Clerk’s facebook page] From A snowy 100th Veterans Day in Brighton and the Battle of the Bulge

2018 Veterans Day in Brighton

2018 represented the hundredth anniversary on the ending of fighting in World War One. A few days earlier, on another snowy November day, I visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial where bollards honor four Brighton High School graduates killed in Vietnam.

Moehle Morelle-page0001 new

(L) Brighton Town Supervisor William Moehle and Boy Scout Troop 77; (R) Moehle and Congressman-elect Joe Morelle. [Photo: David Kramer, 11/12/18] From Veterans Day in Brighton

Walk-page0001

Four Brighton High School graduates killed in Vietnam. The Walk on Honor at the Vietnam Veterans  Memorial in Highland Park. 11/09/18. [Photo: David Kramer] From Veterans Day in Brighton

2015 On Veterans Day at Buckland and Highland Parks. And the Moral Equivalent of War

In 2015, I met many members of Rochester Veterans for Peace. After the Buckland ceremony, I went to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; in Highland Park where I befriended David Dornford , also a Rochester Veteran for Peace a who sadly passed away this year at age 80.

Veterans for Peace Rochester Chapter 23 [Photo: David Kramer from On Veterans Day at Buckland and Highland Parks. And the Moral Equivalent of War]

Vietnam Veteran for Peace David Dornford and Eli Polzer at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Highland Park [Photo: David Kramer from On Veterans Day at Buckland and Highland Parks. And the Moral Equivalent of War]

SEE

Remembering Armistice Day, 11/11/1918, at the Brighton Memorial Library and Buckland Park

About The Author

dkramer3@naz.edu

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY and Lake Affect Magazine.  My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.

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