November 11, 1918 is the day we recognize when World War One ended, Armistice Day. Since then we celebrate Veteran's Day and Remembrance Day - in the USA we celebrate Thanksgiving on the second-last Thursday in November: a day dedicated for family, remembrance, thankfulness of blessings received - it always features a big meal, and we often refer to it as "Turkey Day".
Lemare's Thanksgiving March, was composed virtually on the day of armistice, and was published and distributed by Theodore Presser Company in early 1919. The cover page has the additional inscription: "For Peace Celebrations and Festival Use." When looking at the first page of the score, one can gather that Lemare may have been offering thanks not only for the ending of war atrocities, but also for support he received from the Mayor of San Francisco. The score carries the inscription "To the honorable James Rolph, Mayor of San Francisco." Lemare was known to take multiple melodies, and make them all work together. As we approach the second section (Trio) as well as in the transition to the recap of the main theme of the Thanksgiving March, we hear Lemare invoking the first notes (the musical incipit) of the popular 1917 song and battle cry "Over There." Not stopping there, Lemare works in a very dramatic presentation of the first phase of the French National Anthem, La Marseillaise, and still not finished, at the outset of the march's final Maestoso, he quotes yet another patriotic tune on large pedal reeds, in duo with the march's secondary theme. In the closing phrase of the score, we see the text that Lemare entered over the melody, reading: "Thanks be to God. Amen." (reference the liner notes provided by Frederick Hohman, in Lemare Affair IV)
Edwin Henry Lemare (1865 – 1934) was an English organist and composer who lived the latter part of his life in the United States.
Thanksgiving March, WoO 20 (Lemare, Edwin Henry)