May 18 21 WVW Pages - page 4

Page 4  
Washita Valley Weekly
“My Community Magazine”
May 23, 2018
God Bless America
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Honoring theMemory
of Our Nation’s FallenHeroes
O
n Memorial Day, we remember the U.S. service members who gave their lives
for this country. Their courage and sacrifice remind us that freedom is not free,
and their dedication will never be forgotten. The legacies of these brave men
and women live on in the memories of family and friends, and in the strength of our
nation. God bless America and all those who protect our great nation.
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MEMORIAL DAY BEGAN
AS DECORATION DAY
The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865,
claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history
stablishment of the country’s first
national cemeteries.
 By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and
cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these
countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with
flowers and reciting prayers.
It is unclear where exactly this tradition origi-
ifferent communities may have
independently initiated the memorial gatherings.
Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government de-
clared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of
Memorial Day.
On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader
of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans,
wide day of remembrance later that
month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the
purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise deco-
rating 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 ham-
let churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed.
oration Day, as he called it, was
chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any
particular battle.
 On the first Decoration Day, General James Gar-
field made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery,
and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the
20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.
as Decoration Day gradually came
to be known, originally honored only those lost while
fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the
United States found itself embroiled in another major
conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate
American military personnel who died in all wars.
 For decades, Memorial Day continued to be
30, the date Logan had selected
for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968 Congress
passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which
established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May
in ord r to create a three-day weekend for federal
employees; the change went into effect in 1971. The
law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.
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Grady County Memorial Day Ceremony
11 am • Monday, May 28 • Shannon Springs Park
1,2,3 5,6,7,8
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