Memorial Day event set for Monday
The Falls County Historical Commission invites you to join them for the annual Memorial Day event honoring the men and women who have given their lives in the service of our military forces.
The event will be held on Monday, May 29, at the Falls County Courthouse third floor District Court Room at 11 a.m. Elevator service is available.
The keynote speaker will be American Legion Commander Fred Ormsby.
Memorial Day in American is observed on the last Monday of May of each year. It was originally known as Decoration Day which originated in the years following the Civil War, but became an official American holiday in 1971.
The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries. It is believed that the tradition of decorating the graves of the fallen soldiers began before the end of the Civil War by a group of southern women.
They would gather the wild flowers in the springtime and decorate the graves of the Confederate soldiers. They soon noticed that the graves of the Union soldiers were gong unattended and knew the mothers and families of the soldiers were not able to honor their fallen sons so they started including them in the events.
On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. Decoration Day was designated on May 30, 1868 for the purpose of “strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land” Logan proclaimed.
While the day to honor the fallen soldiers began during the Civil War, after World War I and II, and the Korean and Vietnam conflicts the day was changed to honor all men and women who died in any American conflict while serving in the military. In 1971, Memorial Day became an official federal holiday to honor those who served and died in wars.
While the tradition of honoring those fallen in battle were not held in America until the late 19th century, the practice dates back thousands of years.
The ancient Greeks and Romans are known to have held annual days of remembrance for loved ones each year by festooning their graves with flowers and holding public events. Pubic funerals for fallen soldiers were held after each battle, with the remains of the dead on display before burial.
One of the best known public tributes was in 431 B.C. when the Athenian general and statesman Pericles delivered a funeral oration for those killed in the Peloponnesian War. That speech has been compared by some in tone to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
Please join us on Memorial Day to honor those who have given so much for our country.