Reflections: Remembering VE Day

By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

Last week while reviewing some events that took place in April, 1945.

I also mentioned the end of the war in Germany, VE Day. That was 75 years ago — and I wonder how many people reading this were among those celebrating that event.

I have the front page of the Morrow County Independent, dated May 10, 1945, with several stories related to that victory. Complying with President Harry Truman’s request to “make V-E Day a time of thanksgiving, Morrow County celebrated the victory with calmness and restraint” Services were held at several churches, St. Paul Lutheran, St. John Lutheran, Windfall and the local Methodist Church in Cardington.

No special VE assembly was held in the Cardington School but pupils in grades three up heard President Truman’s proclamation during a 9 a.m. broadcast by radio and the broadcast by Winston Churchill which followed.

No schools in the county were dismissed for the day. Mount Gilead school was dismissed at 11:30 am after a parade to the Victory Shaft where short talks were given by two local pastors. Services were held in the First Presbyterian and Trinity Methodist churches.

I remember this day very clearly- I remember feeling joy at ending the war where one read every day of servicemen being killed or injured.

Students in the Cardington School skipped school that day, allowing the board of education to authorize a day suspension for truancy for the approximate 100 students as a disciplinary measure. Failure of the students to re-

turn to classes Tuesday afternoon resulted in the abandoning of plans to hold a special V-E Day assembly, parade and dismissal of all school grades and classes at 2:30 pm. Supt J. C. Slack noted that most of the members of the band which would have led the parade were in the group suspended.

Truant students were refused admission to school buses that afternoon and four student owners of automobiles were denied the privilege of driving their cars on the school ground for the remainder of the school year.

The story states that truant students just strolled the village that afternoon driving around town and (oddly- my word) hitch hiking to Mount Gilead.

I was a seventh grade student then – all I remember is the joy we felt about the war in Europe being over.

Making this event more meaningful is the story also on the front page about the memorial planned for four local young men who were killed while serving this country: Lt. John E. Vaughan, Lt. Col Ralph Lowther, Sgt. Curtis Ogg, PFC Harry Mathews and Pvt. John Robert Carter. We should never, ever forget.

70 years ago, May, 1950: Dr. and Mrs. E. C. Sherman returned to Cardington after wintering in Florida

60 years ago, May, 1960: Two Cardington High School juniors, John Powell and James Couts were named as delegates to Buckeye Boys’ State.

40 years ago, May, 1980: Frank L. Patterson, Cardington’s oldest resident turned 100 years old on May 7.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

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Reach us at [email protected]