As a military spouse and daughter, I have a strong sense of patriotism. My family and I observe Memorial Day regularly and my son, a Civil Air Patrol cadet, also has the strong sense of patriotism he and his fellow cadets routinely participates in remembrance ceremonies. I felt obligated to mention this important holiday to all that is not a religious holiday, but an American Holiday. And after all…We are all Americans!
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance to take some time to honor those, both past and present, who serve and protect our country. Memorial Day was officially declared on May 5, 1868 by General Logan, Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic and was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I, when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war. Although officially not declared until 1868, there is evidence that women’s groups in the South were decorating graves as far back as the Civil War.
To help remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to “Taps”.
Now that you know, you can celebrate. Here are a few activities happening in Kennewick on Memorial Day:
Riverview Heights Cemetery in Kennewick – 10th and Olympia will feature a Memorial Service starting at 9am Monday.
Desert Lawn Cemetery in Kennewick, 10th and Union, will have a large Memorial Service beginning at 11am Monday.
Sunset Memorial Gardens, on the Bypass Highway in Richland, will have their Memorial Service starting at 11am Monday. Throughout the weekend, Sunset will also feature the flying of 1,000 flags at the cemetery in honor of Veterans. I attended last year and it was quite remarkable to see!
Columbia Memorial Gardens, just off Lewis St. in Pasco by 24th St. 10am special Memorial Day service Monday.
Thank you to all those who served!