Believe it or not, Memorial Day weekend is upon us.  Observed on the last Monday of May every year, Memorial Day is a day to honor and remember the men and women who have died serving in the United States Armed Forces. As with most federal holidays, a majority of offices, banks and government buildings will be closed in observance of the day.

The history of Memorial Day dates back to the Civil War, which was fought from 1861 to 1865. The war claimed the lives of more than 600,000 soldiers from both the Union and Confederate armies. In the years following the war, people were known to decorate the graves of the fallen soldiers with flowers, giving us the name Decoration Day.  The first official observance of Decoration Day was held in 1868, when General John A. Logan issued a proclamation calling for a national day of remembrance for the soldiers who died in the Civil War. The day was observed on May 30th, and people across the country decorated the graves of the fallen soldiers with flowers and other mementos. 

Over time, the day began to represent all Americans who had lost their lives in US Wars. Decoration Day became a popular holiday in the United States, and many states made it an official holiday. In 1971, Congress passed the National Holiday Act, which made Memorial Day a federal holiday.  Today, Memorial Day is observed across the United States with parades, flag-raising ceremonies, and other public events to commemorate those who have sacrificed their lives for this country.  As Lucian Adams once said, “The legacy of brave men and women who have fought and died for their country is the freedom we enjoy as Americans." 

Here in Union County, VFW Post 1472 and American Legion Post 122 will present a Memorial Day ceremony on Monday the 29th at the cemetery in West College Corner at 10 AM. The Liberty ceremony will be at the West Point cemetery at 11 a.m. Lunch will follow at the VFW 123, E Wescott St in Liberty.