Memorial Day is not about a good deal on furniture.
Major General John A. Logan, a volunteer Union combat leader, established Decoration Day with a general order issued on May 5, 1868 as commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, a Union veterans' organization. He ordered that on May 30th, all members of the GAR should decorate the graves of Union soldiers, sailors and marines killed in battle with flowers. The first observance under his order was held on May 30th, 1868 at Arlington National Cemetery. Washington, DC officials were joined by General Ulysses S. Grant and his wife making speeches. After the oration, children from the Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphans' Home and GAR members walked through the cemeteray, placing flowers on the graves of both Union and Confederte war dead, singing and praying.
After World War I, the observance was expanded to honor those killed in all US wars.
In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson and Congress declared Waterloo, NY the birthplace of Memorial Day.
Decoration day remained a state and local day of observance until 1971, when Congress named Memorial Day a national holiday and moved the date to the last Monday in May (then the sales started).
To ensure the sacrifices of America ’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The commission’s charter is to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.
The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”
- Cut and pasted from the US Department of Veterans' Affairs web site history page.
The Alvo Cemetery holds the remains of two soldiers killed in action during World War II.
Sergeant Howard H. Johnson was killed on July 17th, 1944 during the attack on St. Lo, France by the 134th Regiment of the 35th Infantry Division. The regiment led part of the breakout from the Normandy beachhead.
Private First Class Charles R. Clark was killed during the invasion of Okinawa on April 10th, 1945. He was a 1940 graduate of Alvo Consolidated School and a member of the 165th Infantry Regiment of the 27th Infantry Division. The 27th Infantry Division was the longest serving National Guard Unit (New York) in World War II. His graduation picture is on the south side of the Alvo Consolidated School memory hall at the Fire and Rescue Station.
"Guard against the postures of pretended patriotism." - George Washington
"Courage is fear holding on a minute longer." - George S. Patton
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|Friday, May 30, 2014||05:57 AM||08:50 PM||14:53||22|
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