The other day, “06880” celebrated the end of WestportREADS — this year’s book explored World War I — and the 100th anniversary of the “Great War” armistice with a story on military contributions of Westport artists a century ago.
This photo did not make it into the story. But it provides a fascinating peek into a local link between two wars that, today, we think of as completely distinct from each other.
As the caption notes, the photo above shows “soldiers, sailors and veterans from World War I and the Civil War.” They posed together on “Welcome Home Day.”
Three Westport Civil War veterans were there: James H. Sowle, Christopher Tripp and Edwin Davis. Sowle — in the 2nd full row, 2nd from right — presented medals to the newest veterans.
Three things strike me as noteworthy.
First, for a small town, the number of men serving seems remarkable.
Second, though Westport was still a small town in 1918, much had changed in the more than half century since the War Between the States.
Third, 50 years after this photo was taken, American would have fought — and helped win — World War II. We fought to a standstill in Korea. And then got mired in Vietnam.
There would be no more “Welcome Home Day” ceremonies then.
(Hat tip: Kathie Motes Bennewitz)