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April 25, 2014

Owl Study Club honors veterans with Memorial Park wreath

DUNCAN — It’s been 124 years since the General Federation of Women’s Club established its Federation Day, which takes place every April 24.

Through Federation Day, local GFWC Owl Study Club provides a special recognition within the Duncan community. This year the club is recognizing men and women in the armed services  with a wreath that’s been placed at the veterans memorial marker in Memorial Park.

Flora Diffie, club president, said she is glad the club is able to do something to remember veterans, those who have served and those who continue to serve in the United State military. Diffie and seven other club members helped hang a banner next to the wreath.

“We’ll probably leave it up for a week,” Diffie said about the wreath, which was created by a flower shop in Velma.

The Federation Day began in 1890, when Jane Croly, founder of Sorosis, extended an invitation to women’s clubs throughout the United States to attend a ratification convention in New York City. Between April 23 and April 25 that year, 63 women’s clubs took action to form the General Federation of Women’s Clubs.

Each April 24 after that year was recognized as Federation Day.

Diffie said she was glad her club could do something for veterans on Federation Day. Veterans make up a cause close to the hearts of club members.

Throughout the history of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, there have been several opportunities for the women’s clubs to aid the military.

In 1919, under the direction of the YMCA, the GFWC created an overseas service unit. Through this unit, 100 women were sent to Europe to help wounded soldiers following World War I. In 1944, the GFWC sponsored a Buy a Bomber campaign during World War II. Through this campaign, state federations sold war bonds. In all, $154,459,132 worth of bonds were sold, which helped purchase 431 planes for war efforts.

Most recently, GFWC members contributed $180,000, for a fully-equipped ambulance to be used by the New York Fire Department to be used in response to the loss of equipment resulting from the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, 2001.

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