The year was 1918. World War I was winding down. Our troops were returning home. Newport News was a Port of Embarkation. Hundreds, if not thousands of troops marched from the piers off West Avenue through the streets of Newport News en route to camps to await transportation. As a Decader and Veteran of the Vietnam War, I (your webmaster) can almost sense the excitement of those troops. Having endured a terrible war, they were finally on American soil. What a great feeling of relief and pride in their accomplishments they must have enjoyed.
The pictures surrounding this article show not only the troops marching to their camps, but also the Victory Arch built by residents of Newport News to help show those troops how appreciative we were as Americans for their sacrifices and dedication to protecting the freedom of our Country.
The American Legion Post 25 (located on Marshall Ave. in Newport News) has for years sponsored a memorial service to remember our troops that so bravely defended our freedom during WWI and all subsequent wars. They funded the torch that burns at the Victory Arch site in remembrance of those dedicated troops.
I hope you will make a mental note (and I'll remind you again when it gets closer) to join the crowd at the Victory Arch for the next memorial service to honor those who defended our great democracy, making it possible for you and I to enjoy the freedoms of today.
Photos courtesy of Dr. Harold Cones, Mr. David Spriggs, Mr. Bernard Fisher and the Daily Press
Appeared January 19 - 23, 2012
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