As World War II raged on two fronts, a political campaign-sized flag hung from The Cleveland Press building. Standing on a green platform under the red, white and blue, Mayor Frank J. Lausche christened the Cleveland Book of Honor, a massive register of Cuyahoga County servicemen, with a speech.
"We shall see compressed in that book the spirit of Cleveland — written in golden letters — symbolizing the Cleveland, the nation that is to be," he said tearfully, according to the newspaper, which sponsored the May 6 event.
Families, many with relatives on the front lines, came to sign their serviceman's name as the 95-piece Shaw High School band played military tunes in the chill. Five skirted drum majorettes were rushed blankets from the Hotel Olmsted.
The book, with pages the size of a desktop, traveled throughout the county for additional signatures, expanding to four volumes before being handed over to the Cleveland Public Library.
Though it takes three library staffers to move a single volume, the books are put on display for the public every Memorial Day.