What Memorial Day was like 100 years ago
Editors note: This article appeared in the June 2, 1911 issue of the Carbon County News. We have printed this exactly how it was worded and punctuated.
Memorial Day was generally observed in this community and the program arranged by the Mayor, practically carried out.
Promptly at 10:00 A.M. the Price band gathered on Main Street and played for the better part of an hour. It then wended its way to the town hall, followed by the interested public and opened the formal exercises there. There were some alternations in the singing, otherwise the program was rendered as originally planned.
Rev. Ferris made the opening address and dwelt upon the significance of the day as a remembrance of the 'Blood Attonement.' He called attention to the fact that all great Truths had been consecrated by blood and blood alone had been given their vital force. He showed how death, that sometimes dread spectre, was a hallucination, more or less, and how age and infirmity were generally figments of our own creation. He showed how the old soldier, aged and infirm, would suddenly shake from his frame all the legthargy and weight of his years by the simple remembrance of his deeds and participation in the "Cause" and he made the deduction that by being dedicated to the "Cause" and by that alone could mankind reach the summit of its power. It is by the holiness of the cause and by man's sincerity towards it that he accomplishes his supreme moment in life, to which death is but an incident. He remarked that battle-field or the political arena were not the only places to show the merits of real living but also in the smaller civic duties and the simpler affairs of life. Real heroism was not necessarily spectacular.
President Iverson followed. We do not know it impressed others but it seemed to the humble reporter that the two speakers, conciously or not, were actuated from the same impulse. Pres. Iverson's address was really an appeal for justice to the character and motives of Alexander II. Stevens, the brains and the dymanatic force of the Confederacy and for those who were associated with him. He called attention to service of these men to the nation, to their conduct during the war and to their suberb resignation in the final hour of defeat. He recited one of Father Ryan's beautiful poems and dwelt upon the authors sweet character, his conscientious life and loyal service. He showed how they, in their bitter hour had neither malice nor envy and were still obsessed by their one main impulse, the obtaining of what they considered to be a fundamental right, and how they put upon the shoulders of the leaders of the Union the weight of consciousness in the accomplishing of that same matter. Pres. Iverson maintained that slavery was but an Incident of the war, not its real cause. Evidentally referring to "States Rights". Both addresses were remarkable, not only from their diversity of view and commonness of purpose but also from their breath in the handling and strength in the presentation. Those who were present went away with a better acqaintance of the World's struggles and its consequences that they could have had before. The program was concluded with benediction by the Rev. Nichols, formerly of Price, but now of Salt Lake City.