Purpose: To justly pay honor to the 26th district and National Guard with a parade and day of observation
Date: April 18, 1919
On Friday next, the 25th of April, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, joined by the other New England States and assisted by the city of Boston, will undertake to do honor to all those who have served in the present war, and especially to all the valiant sons of our Commonwealth, by a great military parade to be held in our capital city. Our citizens would have wished that all who participated in the war, in the army, navy or marine service, might then have passed in review, that our full 200,000 might be seen streaming past. That was impossible. The parade will be made by the Twenty-sixth Division, into which went our National Guard, which was the first National Guard unit to land in France and open its artillery upon the line of our enemies. As they have represented us so heroically in the field, they are qualified to represent not only themselves but all their brave comrades on this occasion, which is the symbol of New England’s welcome to her returning sons.
All true hospitality is spontaneous. Given under the compulsion of the law, it loses all which makes it high and fine. The observance of the day of the parade is left to voluntary action of the citizens of the Commonwealth, there being at the present time no law relating to it. It is more and more evident that all citizens desire to participate in one way or another in doing honor where honor is grandly due.
It is therefore urged that every opportunity be extended to all the people of the Commonwealth to observe the day as they may wish, by the voluntary permission to cease such ordinary activities as would interfere with such observation, to the end that every loyal citizen may pay a deserved tribute alike to the living and the dead.
Given at the Executive Chamber, in Boston, this eighteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and nineteen, and of the independence of the United States of America the one hundred and forty-third.
Citation: Messages to the General Court, Official Addresses, Proclamations and State Papers of His Excellency Governor Calvin Coolidge
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Greg Harkenrider, who prepared this document for digital publication.