This coming fall, Lexington Historical Society is partnering with several other organizations in town, including the Town Celebrations Committee, Lexington Minute Men, Lexington Veteran's Association, and Cary Memorial Library, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, the ending of WWI.
I’m thrilled to share that the Community Endowment of Lexington, an Endowed Fund of the Foundation for MetroWest, has given us a generous grant of $4,000 to support this work. The Community Endowment of Lexington promotes a spirit of philanthropic giving to help enhance the quality of life for all Lexington citizens now and in the future. In addition to support from the Lions Club and the Rotary Club of Lexington, the Community Endowment of Lexington’s grant will allow us to bring an often forgotten aspect of Lexington’s history to the community.
This commemoration will include an exhibit in the CVS windows in Lexington center on the soldiers who died in the war, exhibits at Cary Memorial Library, lectures, a panel discussion, and several other programs that touch on many aspects of the war.
As I’ve worked on the committee to prepare for this commemoration, I’ve learned a bit about Lexington’s involvement in the war, and it’s truly fascinating. One of the things that I thought was of particular interest was Lexington’s Liberty Loan Flags. During the war, towns encouraged folks to buy bonds to finance the American war effort. If a town met its quota, it was awarded a Liberty Loan flag from the U.S. Treasury. Lexington met its quota for all five Liberty Loan drives, and received accordingly; having met the quota for all drives was marked by a line through the flag given for the fourth loan. Lexington Historical Society has all four flags in its collection.
An event I’m particularly excited about is the Armistice Day Poppy Gala to benefit Lexington Historical Society which will take place on October 19 at the Masonic Lodge right near the Green. This event will feature a plated dinner and several live bands playing songs from WWI. In addition, there will be a raffle and live auction and guests will be encouraged to dress in period attire. More information about the Poppy Gala is available here.
I look forward to commemorating the ending of WWI, and I hope that you will join us at these events to learn about this fascinating aspect of Lexington’s history.
For information on the WWI commemoration and how to contribute to the conservation of the Liberty Loan flags, please visit our World War I Commemoration page.
-Erica McAvoy, Executive Director