May 20, 2015

Earlier Monday for Memorial Day

 

By ALLAN TINKER

From early traditions of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths and flags, Memorial Day is a day for remembrance of those who have died in our country’s military service.

Observed first on May 30, 1868 to commemorate sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, former Union Gen. and sitting Ohio Congressman James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, followed by decoration of the graves.

Following a growing number of cities observing their individual forms of Memorial Day, in 1971, the US Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This established that Memorial Day was to be celebrated on the last Monday of May.

Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery each year with a ceremony and a small American flag is placed on each grave. Traditionally, the President or Vice President lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

This year, the fourth Monday draws the Memorial Day observances earlier into May.

Locally the Goodrich American Legion will hold graveside services at the Denhoff Cemetery at 9:15 a.m. on Monday, May 25. The group organizes prior to the services in Denhoff at Goodrich and leaves from there for Denhoff at 9 a.m.

Goodrich services will start at 10 a.m. at the Goodrich High School gym.

The guest speaker will be Ericka Robinson from, Minot Air Force Base.

Formal graveside ceremonies will be held following the services at the Goodrich Cemetery where the Goodrich American Legion’s collection of flags also fly, if weather permits. with personal flags also flying over or by the graves of loved ones..


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