We left our Church Family and our Town in August of 1944 with their lives completely dominated by the War, and with the sudden rise in wounding and deaths of our local servicemen with the escalation of the war on the European theatre beginning with the D-Day invasion at Normandy, France in June. Each weekly edition of the Girard News, brought the story of more Girard boys injured or killed. However, nationally the war news was positive. Our troops along with our allies were pushing the German army back toward Germany and out of France. In late August Paris was liberated with much jubilation by the small but valiant Free French Army led by General Charles De Gaulle. The casualty count simply reflected the greater number of our troops in battle as the European theatre proceeded on several fronts attacking the Germans from the north, south and west.
The September 1st edition of the News told of a new war plant to occupy the old A M Byers plant which was now empty. They were going to hire 40 to 50 workers, needing press operators and die setters. All production would be devoted to the war effort.
The casualty rate for this week was 6 men wounded, and 1 missing in action. Meanwhile, our church family members not away at war, continued with their church work. The Alethea Class met for a corn roast on a Tuesday evening, September 7th at the home of Mrs. L. C. Underwood. Mrs. Hotchkiss led the discussion of the Study Book for the coming year, “Highlights of the Bible”. The next meeting of the class would be at the home of Miss Edith Howells, 2257 Volney Rd, in Youngstown.
The September 8th edition of the News reported casualties for the week of 1 wounded and 1 killed. The edition of September 15th reported 2 Girard men missing in action and 1 wounded.
On September 13th the Friendly Class met at the church in the evening for a dinner meeting, with over 40 present. After dinner entertainment consisted of Donald Robinson playing several violin selections accompanied by his wife on the piano.
The September 22nd edition of the News reported 1 man killed and 2 wounded.
The WSCS met Monday evening at the church for their regular monthly meeting at 7:30 on September 25th.
The Friday, September 29th edition of the News reported “Five War Casualties This Week”. Two men were killed in action, 3 wounded, and one man who had been reported missing in action had, happily, been found and was now back with his regiment.
That edition of the News also reported that, on the previous Saturday evening, thirty members of our MYF enjoyed a Hayride at North Jackson in place of their regular meeting.
Our church attendance during the month ran from 263 on Labor Day weekend, to 287 on the last Sunday of the month.
This was our church and our town in September, 1944 – life dominated by the war, but still attending church weekly and going to their small group meetings regularly.
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