Archive for Thursday, June 3, 2010

Remembering our loved ones

June 3, 2010

Traditions are something every family has and they are all a little bit different.

By the time you read this, Memorial Day will have come and gone but I want to tell you about one of our special things we do on that day. At 9:45 a.m. we meet my two brothers and their wives at Mount Calvary Cemetery. We start at the graves of my parents and older brother, Tom, who was killed in action during World War II. We leave flowers for mom and dad and flags for Tom and Dad, who was in World War I, and spend time reminiscing. Then we visit family buried at Mount Muncie and on to the National Cemetery at Wadsworth, where Ada’s parents are buried. Her dad was also in World War I.

We are always impressed by the beautiful American flags at each grave site at the National Cemetery and the number of people that take the time to go there to remember a loved one who had been in the service of our country. That’s what Memorial Day is really all about.

During my childhood, this was known as Decoration Day. History tells us that the exact beginning of this day is not really known and probably has many beginnings. Originally the graves were decorated mainly for those that died in the Civil War. In 1890 the day was recognized in all the northern states, then after World War I the holiday changed to honor those that died in all wars. This also included Southern states. Decoration Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, by Gen. John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

The alternative name of Memorial Day was first used in 1882. It did not become more common until after World War II and was not declared the official name by federal law until 1967. The change then moved the date from May 30 to the last Monday in May. In 1971 Congress passed the National Holiday Act to insure a three-day weekend as a federal holiday.

We need to remember all our military personnel, whether living or dead, in our thoughts and prayers.

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