Memorial Day, or as originally known, Decoration Day, is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering and honoring people who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
The holiday, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May, will be observed this year on May 31st. Memorial Day was previously observed on May 30th, from 1868 to 1970.
Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day, particularly to honor those who died in military service. In communities throughout the country, volunteers place American flags on the graves of those who died in battle, as well as on the graves of other military veterans who have died.
Civil War Veteran and Medal of Honor Recipient, Sgt. Denis J.F. Murphy, of the Howard, Wisconsin chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic, helped organize and lead the first Decoration Day observance in our local area. In response to General John A. Logan’s Memorial Day Order ~ General Order Number 11 of the Grand Army of the Republic, Murphy and the Howard Chapter flagged the graves of all known Civil War soldiers buried in local cemeteries, and placed floral wreaths on the graves of those who had died in battle.
In the midst of our observance and celebration of Memorial Day, let us keep in mind that for the surviving spouses and families of those who have “given all,” every day is a day of remembrance.
As we greet each other on this solemn holiday, let’s use the words “Never Forget!”