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Mason County Memories


"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus" ~ Mark Twain


History Columns are arranged by year of publication in the Ludington Daily News



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Memorial Day History Column Dave Petersen August 20th 1941 "President predicts long hard war" is the headline in the Ludington Daily News. At the time, less than 4 months from the day we would be thrust into WWII Roosevelt thought that the war would continue through 1943. Quoting from the article " The Lincoln Quotation which the president cited was in a passage from Carl Sandburg's monumental work, Abraham Lincoln, the War Years" It described an interview between Lincoln and a delegation of Women headed by a Mrs. Mary A. Livermore of Chicago. " The time was September 1862. Only a few days before the battle of Antietam had been fought- "the bloodiest single day of fighting of the war" ( 23,000 casualties, twice as many as were lost in the War of 1812, Spanish American War and the Mexican War combined) in the opinion of Confederate General Longstreet. Behind lay a series of almost unbroken union reverses, stretching from the first Bull Run to McCellan's luckless Peninsula Campaign against Richmond. "Mr. Roosevelt read Sandburg's description of what Lincoln said to the women who were seeking encouragement. It ran thus: "I have no word of encouragement to give, was the slow blunt (Lincoln) reply. The Military situation is far from bright; and the country knows it as well as I do. The fact is the people have not yet made up their minds that we are at war with the South. They have not buckled down to the determination to fight this war through; for they have got the idea in their heads that we are going to get out of this fix somehow by strategy! That's the word, strategy! General McCellan thinks he is going to whip the rebels by strategy; and the army has got the same notion. "They have no idea that the war is to be carried on and to be put through by hard, tough fighting, that it will hurt somebody and no headway is going to be made while this delusion lasts." Roosevelt saw a long hard road ahead before the axis would be defeated, even though we were not yet at war officially the clouds of war were hanging over the world, a world we lived in and a war certainly that we would not avoid. Memorial Day is coming up on Monday May 28th, originally called Decoration Day and celebrated May 30th 1868 the first time, it is a day to remember those who have died in service of the Nation. In an effort to remind people of the meaning of Memorial Day a resolution called the National Day of Remembrance was passed in an effort to encourage all Americans to take a moment at 3 PM on Memorial Day to remember and honor in their own way those who have fallen in the service of their country. The next paragraph is a quote from a 2000 White House press release. "As Memorial Day approaches, it is time to pause and consider the true meaning of this holiday. Memorial Day represents one day of national awareness and reverence, honoring those Americans who died while defending our Nation and its values. While we should honor these heroes every day for the profound contribution they have made to securing our Nation's freedom, we should honor them especially on Memorial Day." Other headlines of August 21st 1941 dealt with the upcoming dedication of the new REA plant to be dedicated on Saturday in Scottville. "finishing work on the attractive structure of modern architectural design has been in progress in recent weeks, the generating plant itself having been completed and put in operation some time ago." This was a major event in the county, rural electrification took place a scant 65 years ago and had a great impact on the rural community. Maybe someone would like to share their experiences in a future column? Scottville mayor Glenn G Wallace proclaimed that Saturday May 23rd was REA Day in Scottville and he called upon " citizens and merchants to of the city to display such decorations as may be appropriate and to participate as fully as possible in the happiness of this celebration." If you have any stories or photos you would like to share with our readers please feel free to contact me at 757-3240 or davep@blackcreekpress.com, mail should be sent in care of the Ludington Daily News PO box 340 Ludington Mi 49431.

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