Memorial Day losing its meaning, vets groups and families lament

Posted May 31, 2017

In a traditional observance of Memorial Day, the US flag is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains until noon.

But on this Memorial Day, visitors to the most hallowed ground in this emerald oasis will be greeted by a sea of Old Glory in tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defending the enduring freedoms we treasure.

"It's important for the Churchill County community to come out and recognize all veterans", said George, who thanked the VFW, the American Legion, Marines and Navy for their annual program for the deceased veterans. And to the extent that people do forget the reason why Memorial Day exists, that is indeed a shame. The date of Decoration Day was originally the 30th of May. The parade will head north on Cemetery Road and enter Greenwood Cemetery at the north entrance and will end at the Civil War Memorial.

The first official observance of Memorial Day was May 28, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

Allison Jaslow heard it a couple of times as the long holiday weekend approached - a cheerful "Happy Memorial Day!" from oblivious well-wishers. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday. The Southern States refused to accept the holiday honoring the death of Union soldiers. On an average, about 28 burials happen at the cemetery every day. There's no shortage of opportunities to do so, whether it's displaying flags or participating in a Memorial Day ceremony. In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.

It is an honor that many uniformed service members from the Rock Island Arsenal will serve as speakers at local Memorial Day events this weekend. The change went into effect in 1971.

Too many of us take our military members, veterans and those who put their lives on the line for granted.

Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance to take place later that month. Inouye died in 2012. Memorial Day, however, is a time to set those aside and simply think of the dead - especially those who fell because they defended this nation. The town first celebrated on May 5, 1866. The graves of those who died in service to our country were decorated with flowers, wreaths and flags.

This difference is one of the reasons local father and Chief Petty Officer Michael Larson chose to take his family to the Jacksonville National Cemetery for the annual Memorial Day Service.