The following is an extract of an article of 100 years ago, published on June 3, 1912 in the Hartford Courant.
Memorial Day began to be observed immediately after the Civil War, as a way to honor those who died fighting to free slaves and preserve the Union. In 1912, "veterans" would have referred primarily to those who served in the Civil War. Memorial Day has since become an occasion to honor those killed in other wars since the Civil War, and has moved from May 30th to the last Monday in May. The latter change has virtually changed the meaning of the day, it has gone from a occasion of memorial to one of holiday.
Westfield was in some ways separate from Middletown ("The veterans left this city for Westfield...."). Not only was the center of Westfield at least 5 miles from downtown, but Westfield residents at that time had an independent school district and church.
Middletown, Monday, June 3.
Mansfield Post Also Attends Church at Cromwell
The closing exercises of Memorial Day, as observed by Mansfield Post, No 53, G.A.R. were held in Westfield yesterday afternoon and services were held in Cromwell in the evening. The veterans left this city for Westfield at 1 o'clock and on their arrival there decorated the graves in Minor Cemetery. The "boys in blue" were assisted in their work by school children. Services were held in the church and the children sang patriotic songs. The address was made by Rev. Elmer A. Dent of New Haven. In the evening the veterans went to Cromwell on the 6:23 trolley and held services in the church there.
Middletown Fire Laddies Enjoy Shadbake at Benson's Grove
The members of the O.V. Coffin Hook and Ladder Company held their annual shadbake at Benson's Grove in the Maromas District. The trip was made in a 'bus and in teams and an enjoyable day's outing was had by the "ladder climbers" and their friends.
E.D. Hubbard and Sister Injured At Boston
It is reported that E. Dyer Hubbard and his sister, Mrs. Clarence S. Wadsworth, both of this city, were injured in an automobile collision near Boston the early part of the week. Mr. Hubbard has returned to his home here and although able to be about, is considerably bruised as a result of the accident. It appears that they were passing a street in their auto when another one ran into them, throwing them out and badly bruising them. The auto that came out of the side street and collided with them was badly wrecked. Mrs. Wadsworth is not yet able to be about, as the result of the injuries suffered at the time of the accident. Another sister of Mr. Hubbard was on the car and was also badly shaken up.
The baccalaureate sermon at the commencement exercises at Wesleyan University will be preached Sunday, June 16, by President Shanklin and the university sermon will be preached in the evening by Bishop Hendrix. Both sermons will be preached in the First Methodist Church.
H.H. Sherman and daughter, Miss Helena, who were injured by being thrown out of their carriage a few days ago, are recovering from the shock and no serious results are anticipated.
Workmen on Saturday put in the glass in the windows to the new store of Clark & True. The store front and the interior fixings, when completed, will make it one of the handsomest and most convenient business houses in this city.
The organizers are still busy among the Italian textile workers. A meeting was held in the Italian theater in court street Saturday afternoon.