. [6:6:\6:.. [6:6:\6:Bhtmart-new-york.ART-NE~1HTM [6:6:O9;SCmmnts-imn-nyc.htbest-mrestauraBEST-R~1HTM .\6:6:=t9=&BROADWAYHTM _\6:6:=t9>:BROOKLYNHTM \6:6:)x9L*Chtman-monuments.famous-americFAMOUS~1HTM \6:6:09M|6Beums.htmimportant-musIMPORT~1HTM ]6:6:v*:NyINDEX HTM @]6:6:Y t9Q"Beets.htmmanhattan-strMANHAT~1HTM g]6:6: 9ReBs.htmnational-parkNATION~1HTM ]6:6:9TACine.htmitecture-skylnew-york-archNEW-YO~1HTM ]6:6:{9V)PBory.h:tmnew-y:ork-histNEW-YO~2HTM `6:6:R9X8Chtmy_attryactions.new_yyork_cityNEW_YO~1HTM I`6:6:9YqJB_tourYism.htmnew_yYork_cityNEW_YO~2HTM v`6:6:;9[-Bit.ht6mplace6s_to_visPLACES~1HTM `6:6:9\lByork.vhtmshoppving-new-SHOPPI~1HTM a6:6:P9^C'Bnyc.hItmthingIs-to-do-THINGS~1HTM ;a6:6:r9_TAThumbs.dbTHUMBS DB &`a6:6:9a4Bortat ion.htmtrave l-transpTRAVEL~1HTM a6:6:9b$NY_IMG a6:6:b6:cBure-designnyc-architectNYC-AR~1 c6:6:d6:jBism new-y ork-tourNEW-YO~1 9i6:6:j6:Baynew-york-subwNEW-YO~2 _j6:6:k6:B-tourJsnew-yJork-cityNEW-YO~3 k6:6:l6:Anew-yjork-cityNEW-YO~4 o6:6:p6:LEGAL _6:6:6:oBew-york-cityfacts-about-nFACTS-~1 6:6:6:B-york-cityevents-in-newEVENTS~1 D6:6:6: Byork\brook\lyn-new-BROOKL~1 6:6:6: camp. Dressed in the clothes in which they came from work, surrounded by their sweethearts and sisters, the scene was deeply touching. In a few months these same citizen-soldiers again came on the Avenue. This time marching on to war. Trim, alert, guns at shoulder arms, colors flying, bands playing, the boys marched down the Avenue to the enthusiastic applause of the crowd and the shouts of their friends.

No one who saw this sight and contrasted these trim, smart looking soldier boys with the nondescript mob of a few months previous will ever forget the effect this transformation produced. It seemed unbelievable. The steady tramp, tramp of the seasoned veteran was in the regular cadence of that marching host, and we realized as never before that we had an army and an army of fighters.

For weeks almost without cessation armies passed down the Avenue. Sometimes it was varied by a foreign regiment, like the Canadian Highlanders. Then it was a regiment of Poilus direct from France, or Belgians, Anzacs and Italians. Again it would be a handful of Czecho-Slays enroute from Russia. Then it would be a host of our own boys, this time from California or Montana or the South. There seemed no end to them. Tramp, tramp, tramp; halt ; forward, march ! And the procession started again.

When all the soldiers had gone—there always seemed to be just one more detachment—then came the others. The grand army of Red Cross Nurses; the countless number of war workers of every description; Y. M. C. A. men; Y. W. C. A. women; K. of C. men; Yeomanettes; Salvation Army Lassies; Hospital Units; Ambulance Drivers; Machine Gunners; Flying Squadrons; Airplanes; Army Transport Motors; Motorcycles; Doctors, Surgeons, Stretcher Bearers, First Aid Stations, and every other conceivable contrivance necessary to win the war. Few who witnessed these stirring scenes in the early months of 1918 will live to forget them, and now that it is happily over, none care to do so. It was all very wonderful and very impressive. Yet never again, let us hope, will the Avenue be called upon to witness the like. With all its enthusiasm, all its cheers, the significance of the scene could not he concealed and tears lay close to the smiles and the din of cheering.
Throughout this two years of pomp and pageantry the Avenue was keenly conscious of the deep solemnity which underlaid every demonstration. No spirit of levity was ever present. The stern reality of war in all its hideousness brooded over all. Small wonder was it, therefore, that on the afternoon of November 11th a huge wave of uncontrollable emotion swept over the city at a report that the war was over! Although the news was promptly contradicted, the long pent up feelings of the populace could no longer be held in check.

No intimation that such an early ending of the war had been given. The newspapers were still talking of "next spring"; troops were still hurrying aboard trans-ports and everywhere the energies of the people were bent on "winning the war," when a great din of whistles, cheers and noises of every description suddenly rent the air, sending thousands to the windows, to the telephone and to the street to learn the cause of the commotion and to receive in answer the magic word "Peace!" The feelings of the moment beggar description. From office, store and factory poured multitudes. Joining in impromptu processions, they made for the Avenue.

Vehicles of all sorts were immediately banished from the thoroughfare, that the seething crowds might have room. There seemed no ordered plan or purpose. People just joined in; they all walked one way. The Avenue was jammed from wall to wall and the whole mass moved slowly in one direction. Flags waved, horns tooted, all sorts of things that would make a noise were hastily improvised. For the first time in nearly four years the air of gloom had disappeared. Oh, the joy, the relief!

When the clerks, salesmen, workers and bosses had suddenly walked out and disappeared for the day—offices, factories and stores automatically closed. Some one threw a spool of ticker paper out of a window, holding the end in his hand. The long streamer thus created caught the popular fancy and in a twinkling all over the city windows were raised and paper thrown out. Some ingenious person let loose a handful of small cut up pieces and this improvement was also imitated. In a moment the Avenue was in a snow storm of paper. When the frenzy had passed it was found that every available book in sight had been robbed of its pages, torn into shreds and sent hurtling into space.

The whole thing was so spontaneous that every emotion was genuine. Strangers embraced each other. Men and women never before guilty of the slightest social infraction, threw custom to the winds. Locked in arms, long rows of staid and sober citizens joined the marching throngs, sang, two stepped, tangoed and otherwise behaved in a thoroughly indecorous manner. The few wagons that indiscreetly strayed into the Avenue never got out; they were immediately commandeered by a happy joyous throng, who climbed on every available perch and there surveyed the passing show. Looking from a high window on the Avenue the sight was indescribable. Thousands were packed as far as the eye could reach.

The huge mass swayed this way and that. There was no disorder, no display of bad temper. The police were powerless to cope with the crowd. They swept the traffic men and the iron traffic posts clear off the street. No living thing could withstand this onslaught. All one did was to go along with the crowd. It was an unforgettable scene; dramatic in its intensity, striking in its spontaneity. In a few hours the city looked as if a cyclone had struck it, but the disorder only added gaiety to the crowds. Such was Armistice Day on the Avenue. It will tlever be forgotten.


With the magnificent tribute paid to the returning Commander and his victorious troops of the First Division the long series of War pageants on Fifth Avenue may be said to have come to a final close.
Of all the pictures in all the pageants in the avenue of a thousand parades none will stay fresher on memory's film than that of Pershing on his five mile ride.

A soldier of soldiers astride a bay horse, pelted with cheers and with roses, his men following on. A man for the people to spend their enthusiasm upon, for whom they have been waiting.
Gen. Pershing, astride a beautiful bay, the eye filling, satisfying picture of the man on horseback—not a man on horseback of sinister foreboding, but a man on horseback of golden performance, he was. A half block up from the stand he had spied his boy and his sisters in the box reserved for their use. He had saluted them with a smile. But now, at just twenty minutes after ten, he was about to salute that which was after all the inspiration of his whole career.

Thirty thousand men with all their gear, from airplane to trench mortar, from staff limousine to elephantine truck, from fat breeched howitzer to vicious light mitrailleuse, from the General's charger to the gargantuan cater-pillars which drew the guns—for three hours and a half they moved without ceasing past the reviewing stand at Eighty-second Street. They left 110th Street on the stroke of 10 in the morning and it was 3:20 in the after-noon when the last of them had passed through the Washington Arch.


Go To Next Page




Back To Previous Page