On Every Call of Duty


Hall of Flags, Massachusetts State House, Boston.

This is the final and concluding service of work begun by your organization at the outbreak of the last war. It has been a service worthy of great commendation by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. You were at once called out for the purpose of doing guard duty here in the Commonwealth along the water front and along the avenues of transportation. Later than that it was your organization that responded to the call for help that came to us as a result of the great calamity in the city of Halifax, and a splendid response was made, excellent not only for its kind but especially for its promptness. 

Again during the epidemic of influenza that swept over the Commonwealth with such disastrous results the authorities, — civil authorities, health authorities of the Commonwealth and cities and towns, turned to you for assistance in meeting the strain and stress of those days, and had it not been for your organization it would have been with great difficulty that that epidemic could have been checked, or that those suffering from it could have been adequately cared for. 

Again in the Fall of 1919, when disorder threatened the City of Boston, it was to the State Guard that the government of Massachusetts turned for the purpose of restoring to this city that orderly government which we are accustomed to live under in this Commonwealth, calling the entire force out, which remained in service from the very first part of September up to the latter part of December. 

Boston National Historical Park

The stained-glass skylight in the Hall of Flags featuring the seals of the original 13 states with the Algonquin of Massachusetts at center. Photo credit: Steven Markos.

A most notable service has been performed by the State Guard of Massachusetts. I know of no other Guard of any of the States of our Union that has rendered more prompt, more efficient response to every call of duty than that which has characterized the officers and men of your organization. 

As the Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I know that I voice the general approbation of all her citizens in extending to you her congratulations upon your service, and in offering you sincere thanks for the way in which that service has ever been performed. 

These stands of colors that have marked the headquarters of your brigades in the field and behind your troops have marched from time to time, will be gratefully received by the authorities of the Commonwealth, treasured and cherished in accordance with that for which they stand as an everlasting emblem. For the present it is the desire of the Commonwealth that the officers of the different units should maintain them in their charge until a fitting place is provided for their assembling under the roof of the State House of this Commonwealth. We receive the colors for that purpose, and ask you to keep them for that purpose in behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, whose government you have preserved, and whose standing among the other states of the nation you have at all times enhanced, ennobled and glorified. 

— Governor Calvin Coolidge, receiving flags of State Guard in the Hall of Flags, December 23, 1920


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