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Ripley Homecoming Parade, September, 1919

Ripley Homecoming Parade, September, 1919

New York State Archives, NYSA_A0412-78_B04_F02_RipleyParade
 
Document Description
Photograph of Ripley homecoming parade, September, 1919.
 
Questions
Does the parade appear well organized?
What types of servicemen are represented?
What might the mood be during these types of homecoming celebrations?
Do you think it was important to the returning soldiers? Why or why not?
 
Historical Challenges
Compare/contrast the homecoming of veterans during various American wars.
 
Interdisciplinary Connections
ELA: Write a newspaper article covering this parade. Describe the setting, mood, and people. Give a complete account of the days events.
 
Resources
Fussell, Paul. he Great War and Modern Memory. New York, Oxford University Press, 1975.
Kennedy, David. Over Here: The First World War and American Society. NY, Oxford University Press, 1980.
Winter, J. M. Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Winter, Jay, and Blaine Baggett. The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century. London, Penguin, 1996.
 

 

Historical Context
When the armistice was signed in November 1918, the United States immediately set into motion the processes for returning veterans. In many respects, the same problems faced by America upon its entrance into the Great War would still present problems when the war ended.

There was certainly no precedent for the huge influx back into American society of the millions of veterans that had served both overseas and in the stateside armed forces. The War Department embarked on important measures to ensure a smooth transition of former soldiers. Like the previous localized draft boards, regional demobilization centers were responsible for the handling of veterans’ affairs from transport to local bases nearest to their homes to organizing parades and celebrations. Hometown parades and festivities were accepted as central to the re-integration of servicemen back into society. As many veterans as possible were encouraged to participate and local boards sought to incorporate as many hometown memorials as they could. As units were brought home in total, there were fears of a bottleneck of unemployed soldiers flooding labor markets. However, the work of the army to ensure prospects for employment for veterans made the transition easier.

The patriotic spirit that helped prepare the United States for war continued in the early years immediately after the war as millions of soldiers were welcomed home as heroes and their service memorialized in many localities across the country.
 
 
Essential Question
How are soldiers honored for their service and sacrifice?
 
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain how the soldiers are being honored.