Evart veterans to hold ceremony at Guyton Park

November 10, 2016

By John Raffel

Veterans’ Day Activities will be featured Friday at Guyton Park.

David Brickey, of the Evart VFW Post 7979 and AmVets Post 11 said there will be a short ceremony at the park. The AmVets will also be doing a clover sale, he said. The VFW has the poppy sales.

Joseph Guyton, Brickey noted, was the first American to die on German soil World War I in 1918.

“The President of the United States (Woodrow Wilson) attended his funeral,” Brickey said. “It was a big deal at the time. It was a huge deal. The park is named after him. He’s buried in Evart.”

A program normally takes place at the high school, but Brickey said it will be on a different day to be announced.
Wikepedia states the following about Guyton:

“In May 1921, President Warren G. Hardin placed a presidential wreath on the flag-draped coffin of Private Guyton at a funeral ceremony for over 5,000 American war-dead at the army piers, Hoboken, New Jersey. He spoke these words: ‘In the name of the republic, I bestow this tribute on the casket of the first soldier who perished on the soil of the enemy… I chose it because I am offering the tribute to the one returned whose death on enemy soil marked the day when our civilization went face forward and the assault on our present day civilization knew it had failed. May 24, 1918, is the date on which this soldier was killed, and the name is that of Joseph W. Guyton, Company I of the 126th Infantry, a resident patriot and hero of the State of Michigan of the United States of America.

“Guyton’s remains were returned from New Jersey to Evart by rail and were met at the depot by his parents, relatives, friends, citizens of the town, and members of the Joseph W. Guyton Post of the American Legion named in his honor.

“June 5, 1921, 10,000 people gathered in Evart to pay tribute to the hero. On hand were dignitaries of the military, state government, local government, and a number of Civil War veterans. The local Evart newspaper reported that over 1,000 automobiles and 500 soldiers were present in the small community that day. Guyton’s remains were buried at Forest Hill cemetery outside the town.”

Friday’s Veterans Day program starts at 11 a.m to conclude with the month and day for an 11-11-11 combination, Brickey said.

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