"Rainbow" Division Parading in Honor of New York's Citizen Soldiers
This parade was given in New York in honor of the city's citizen soldiers. The quota of the metropolis in the first draft was 38,621 men. The uniformed troops parading before us are from the 42nd ("Rainbow") Division, which was in training at that time at Camp Mills, Long Island, near New York. The Rainbow Division, so named because it was made up of picked regiments or companies from 26 States of the Union and the District of Columbia, was the second National Guard division to be sent across, the 26th ("Yankee") Division, of New England, preceding it by a few days. The men of the Rainbow gave a splendid account of themselves in the Champagne defensive, The Marne counter-offensive, and St. Mihiel, in the Meuse-Argonne, and on other battlefield. At the time the men of the Rainbow Division were in training, very few of our American soldiers had been tried on the field of war-stricken Europe. Their success in war was a matter of conjecture and hope. That hope was quickly realized and the American boys made splendid soldiers. The Yankee ingenuity, the fearless fighting, and the splendid spirit shown by the American soldiers were large factors in driving the enemy back and winning the war. When thousands of young men were drafted into the service of their country, it was felt to be a very solemn occasion. Every one felt that these young men were a sacrifice offered up for the safety of the nation, and while such a parade as this was cheered and cheered, deep in the hearts of the people lay a feeling of reverence and of high resolve that these should not "suffer in vain."