Welcome Home Day

Welcome Home Day

There is a community spirit that existed a century ago that is all but impossible to replicate in today's world. This was a time when an entire town might turn out for a celebration. In our modern-day society with its myriad entertainment choices, parades and carnivals will always have comparatively sparse attendance when measured against an event like 1919's "Welcome Home Day" in that featured a Milford concert, banquet, ball, parade, baseball game and (most especially) an airplane exhibition.

The jubilee and welcome home celebration began at 9:00 AM with factory whistles, school alarms, and church bells summoning any late sleepers to the parade pictured above, as well as a baseball game against Townsend (A 2-1 loss) in the morning. The 11:00 arrival of that new marvel, a flying machine, was delayed by engine trouble until the early afternoon with thousands of spectators looking to the sky around Mills Field on Mt. Vernon Street. The Milford Cabinet would comment that "Not a pigeon, not even a sparrow, flew over Milford unobserved between 1:00 and 2:00.” Finally, the biplane arrived to the whoops of the crowd, turning loops in the sky and landing in a field, while police officers tried to hold back the spectators from an area marked by flags.

The purpose of the jubilee was to honor the soldiers and, in the style of the day, a program was held in the park that lasted literally hours and included an orchestra, political speeches, sermons from church leaders, local awards and other fanfare. But for most, it was the airplane that was the highlight of the day, including one man who walked all the way from Brookline to see the spectacle, sleeping in the woods overnight.

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