Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE)

 - Class of 1915

Page 221 of 284


Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) online yearbook collection, 1915 Edition, Page 221 of 284
Page 221 of 284

Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) online yearbook collection, 1915 Edition, Page 220
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Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) online yearbook collection, 1915 Edition, Page 222
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literary style, as indeed it should. Into how many homes docs it enter as absolutely the only reading matter, excepting of course the Bible, and possibly a hymn book, catechism, and almanac. Particularly is this true among foreigners. Some of us who live in neighboring localities, and who have the ability, contribute the news of our districts, under suitable titles; as Balm of Gilead, Stoddard Lectures, and the like. When news is scarce, we lill in with bits of our own composition, sometimes in appropriate verse. Thus the paper offers a field for our literary aspirations. Through the editorial column there is a splendid opportunity for intellectual infiuencc. Writing upon whatever topics are at the moment of peculiar interest to the community, or calling attention to the happenings of the world at large, there is a wonderful chance for direction thought along right channels. Still one more division remains, one that endears itself to the hearts of the older subscribers who live largely in retrospect, and that is “The Twenty-five Years Ago” column. There is an immense amount of satisfaction in re-reading the events of a quarter century ago, to those who have watched the passage of time from the same viewpoint; and the old people by the fireside sit in reverie after its perusal, and chat happily of by-gone days. So—the newspaper a community force? It is a part of our lives. It announces our arrival into this world; watches our career through school, puts our names on the honor roll, follows us through College, eager to herald our first triumphs; anxious to extol the worth of our “fellow townsman" if we do aught of merit; proud of our successes; sorrowing in our griefs; marries us—in conventional black though it be, and faithfully cataloging the list of impossible, well-meant contributions as “beautiful and useful presents;” buries us, writing an obituary in our memory that forgets our mistakes and remembers only our virtues. Then let us consider the immensity of the newspaper’s undertaking, and be chary of our criticism, lend it our support; give something of the encouragement and help to its author that he has given to us—the community. LULU WERNER, ’15. liar In company with a group of Sisters of Mercy, two Red Cross nurses and a field surgeon, I started forward into the lines to give what assistance I might, and to see what war was like. Although we were delayed some eight hours in reaching the scene of our gruesome labors, the smoke of battle yet hung uncertainly above the doomed and wretched city much as a vulture hovers over its carrion feast—gloating and wondering if there is not more to be devoured. A steam of mist arose from the place, and, commingled with the heavy, sickly, copper-colored smoke, which we knew to be produced by human flesh consumed by the gluttinous demon fire, hung suspended like a pall over all. What on the yesterday was the abode of thousands was that day but a mean shelter for the maimed and broken bodies of those who had sacrificed their strength and lives to the great god War. These had been carried to the Two hundred nine

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The newspaper plays a large part in shaping the morals of a community. For instance, what a powerful ally against the liquor evil. The paper that comes out boldly on the right side of this great isssuc is wielding a mighty power for good. For there is no question of its influence here; every stroke is hound to tell. It reaches the mass of the people, gets talked about, thought about; it is a foe at which its evil antagonist has no means of striking back. A newspaper that takes a high moral standard, will be supported. It may be weak, inefficient, but the community demands that it must possess a fair standard of morals. Ready to lend aid to charity and religious enterprises, eager to promote educational advancement, anything that points toward higher living and purer thinking—this must be the moral outlook of the paper. A spirit of neighborliness pervades the local page. We are all a large family, feeling a keen interest in what seems trivial enough to the outsider. We want to know when John Jones went to a rival town, when young Brown took his first ride in his new buggy. We want to know when it is time to do our fall plowing, and when it is time to put on our winter flannels. So-and-so is sick and we fly to visit him. A poor family has moved into the neighborhood. We hasten to their relief. A lecturer is coming to town. We depend upon the newspaper for a statement as to his ability. It is the newspaper that stimulates the movement for the Chautauqua and the lecture course, whatever of entertainment comes within our range; and it is the newspaper that is scathing in its criticism, if the expected treat does not fulfill its promises. Then the Society Column is such a delight. Those satisfying write-ups that mark us as people of social prominence, who know how to entertain in the most approved fashion. If our names appear within this column, then truly, we are within the pale. I recall a most humorous account, not the fault of the newspaper, I believe, but reflecting the attitude of the community towards a trying social situation. A young man had been most faithful in doing janitor work for the Sunday school, ringing the bell and building the fires, quite gratuitously, in the schoolhousc where the services were held. The people whom lie had thus benefited, sought to show their appreciation by holding a sort of reception for him. The plans were extensive; there was some decorating; a bounteous supper was arranged for; and as a crowning feature, they were going to present the young man with a chair. The write-up was duly appreciative. Each detail was dwelt upon, even to the presentation of the “small token of our gratitude, accompanied by the good wishes of the entire community;” and then, quite at the end of the description, and seemingly not having affected the program in the slightest, came the sentence, “The only feature to mar the evening’s pleasure was the guest of honor having failed to appear!” No comment seemed necessary. The newspaper simply pictured the situation exactly as it had occurred, and in fancy, I can hear the chuckle of the editor as lie wrote it. Exceedingly critical are we of the construction, grammar, or spelling of our newspaper. We expect it to be a model of correctness, to possess a certain Two hundred eight

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only place that afforded even a meager protection from the sun and wind, the cracked and mutilated walls of a once magnificent cathedral, whose beauty of architecture had been heralded all over the world. Upon nearing this improvised hospital our hearts were sickened by the cries and moans of the suffering wretches, and on approaching still nearer, our nostrils caught the nauseating stench of warm blood. For the first time I felt the horrible reality of carnage and death. My heart stood still at the ghastly sight. Hundreds of dead and wounded lay there—the stone floor their only cot, oftimes their heads pillowed on a dead comrade’s breast. Their eyes were for the most part closed, as if to shut out the horror of the scene. There were many who slept the never-waking sleep, and as I looked I wondered if there had been regrets at the going. Others, who might in time recover sufficiently to be removed, would never see the place that had sheltered them, nor the faces of those who had kept the awful vigil with them. Their sight had been shot away by flying fragments of shells. One poor wretch lying there, disemboweled, acually smiled up at us as we worked over him. With every movement was heard the crunching of bones or the death gasp of some poor mortal as his soul took its departure to another world. We saw arms torn from shoulders, the splintered ends of bones protruding from blood-stiffened garments, and there was pain, pain everywhere. _ The very stones on which they lay were like those of a slaughter floor, yet lacking the drainage these places afford. Only by exercising great caution were we able to keep our footing on the slimy, oozy, blood-covered surface. As I bent over a hurt and gasping fellow to moisten his lips for the last time, I was arrested by a statute in a niche just above. What a mockery was this! There was the Christ, His hands extended in benediction, and had He been able to speak surely His words would have been, “Peace on earth and good will toward men!” No wonder the lineaments of grief are so deeply furrowed in the face of Christ, and in this statue so tragically life-like, they seemed doubly so. On the day following three long, open trenches were seen. When night’s somber curtains pityingly closed over the scene, numberless grim and silent processions wended thither. Complying with military regulations “for convenience in handling, bodies shall be corded into packs of four”—all that was mortal of those poor wretches from the cathedral back there was dumped into these places the whole of it was strewn with quicklime and dirt thrown on. They did not live to receive one of the various crosses given for bravery in battle, yet I do not doubt but that their rewards will come from that King of Kings into whose court they found entrance. These awards arc given after imperial recognition. Who will recognize the monarchs and parliaments who had the power to avert this war, and what will be meted out to them? GAYNELLE R. FAY. Tico hundred ten

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