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Editor's Notes:


History of Millburn

by Beatrice Anderson (around 1975)

Cemetery, Memorial day at Millburn

Memorial day services at Millburn Cemetery had their beginning with a program planned by Miss Annie McCredie about 1920, or before. No record is available of the date of the first service.

Miss McCredie was a teacher at the Dodge School, a little one room white schoolhouse about a mile south of Millburn. She had been anxious for some time to have something of a public recognition taken of the day honoring those who gave their lives for our country, so she and the children came to the cemetery and on this spot where we are now assembled, presented a program to honor our war dead. The children recited suitable poems and some one gave Lincoln's Gettysburg address. Popular Civil War songs were sung, such as "Tenting To-night on the Old Camp Ground", "The Vacant Chair", "Marching Through Georgia" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic". Then came the march down the center drive and flowers were placed on the soldiers' graves. Flags had been placed on the graves by the GAR of Waukegan.

The idea caught on, and more elaborate programs were planned as the years went by. Richard Martin, always anxious to have "something doing", although just a youngster at the time, was connected with getting the celebration of the day started.

Various people in the community acted as chairmen, and a program was planned to be given at the cemetery each year, on Memorial Day. On some occasions the little old reed organ was brought from the church and Mrs. Martin played for community singing led by Mrs. Jamison. Sometimes there were special numbers by a quartette, or the choir. On other occasions there were instrumental solos by some of the young people.

Children always had a part in the program. There has been a speaker each time.

Honored guests some years ago were Mr. Thomas Strang of Wadsworth and Mr. Peter Strang of Millburn, Civil War veterans wearing their old blue uniforms.

In recent years the American Legion, Gurnee Post, has participated in the program, firing the salute to the war dead, and playing taps at the close of the program.

Since the close of World War II, the American Legion has been responsible for placing flags on the veteran's graves.

Men from all branches of the service are at rest in this cemetery. They saw service in the War of 1812, the Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, Korean Conflict and Vietnam.

The weather has cooperated very well for the occasion. Only twice during the years has it been necessary to have the program at the church. Sometimes it has been necessary to seek shelter from the cold wind by moving to another spot.

It is hoped that this tradition of the Millburn Community will be continued in the years to come.


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