On April 6, 1917, the United States Official entered World War I, and on April 7, 2017 a new exhibit on World War I opened at the Historical Society of Cecil County. To kick off the observance of the War that changed the nation, the Society and the 29th Division Honor Guard of the C. K. Eder and R. M. George Post No. 85 gathered at the armory in Elkton to remember the events of 100-years-ago.
The Dougboy Monument was original at the corner of North and Main streets.
The World War I Doughboy monument at the Elkton Armory on a chilly Friday in early April
The color guardian with Brian McCandless, the bagpipper
Sometime after the Elkton Armory opened in 1915, soldiers march out of the installation.
On this chilly, wind-swept Friday in early spring, at the Doughboy Memorial the timeless notes of the bagpipe, the firing of the salute, and the mournful sounds of the bugler’s taps created a time for reflection and remembrance.There are seventeen names chiseled in stone, seventeen young men who went off to do their duty, but didn’t return home.Commander Orville Potts of the post offered formal remarks and David Craig, the Executive Director of the Maryland World War I Commission was here to open the event, along with Mayor Rob Alt..
The Armory where everyone gathered a century later had been built in 1915, just two years before the nation was drawn into World War I.It was from here that Cecil County boys answered the call to service.
Once the war was over the citizens of the county decided to honor Cecil’s men and women who served in the conflict. Followingsome discussion about the idea, the project moved rapidly forward and residents contributed $10,000 toward the memorial. Joseph H Sloan, the local Elkton firm, contracted with the Rutland Marble Company of Rutland, Vermont to produce the approved design.
On November 11, 1921, the mothers of soldiers who died in the war unveiled the While Vermont Marble monument at the courthouse yard in Elkton at the corner of North and Main streets. The stone cutter had permanently chiseled 17 names into the fine piece of durable marble.
The inscription reads: “This monument is erected by the people of Cecil County in grateful recognition of the services of the men and women of this county who, on land or at sea served their country in the Great World War – 1914 – 1918 – and in especial remembrance of the men of this county who in that war, “Laid down their lives that others might live.”
On each side of the statue of an American soldier at parade rest are paneled slabs inscribed with the names of the men who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The Vermont Marble memorial was moved from its original placement to its present location at the armory in 1941, when the original courthouse was torn down and the property was turned over to the Town of Elkton.
Be sure to check out the Historical Society exhibit curated by Lisa Dolor to learn more about Cecil County and World War I