The link above accesses the website of usmemorialday.org for the history of Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day.
General John Logan, Grand Army of the Republic, created Memorial Day with his General Order No. 11 on 5 May 1868 to honor those who died in the Civil War, which killed more American soldiers than any war before or since. (US Naval History Library) On 30 May 1868, soldiers placed flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. All northern states adopted the date by 1890, but the southern states did not observe Memorial Day until after World War I, when it was changed to honor those who died in all US wars. In 1971, Congress passed the National Holiday Act, which changed observed dates of federal holidays to Fridays or Mondays to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees.
Thoughts on Memorial Day 2013
First and foremost, these thoughts are my own. This day, traditional (30 May) or observed (27 May 2013) is for honoring those service men and women killed in action during our many wars declared and undeclared since we became a nation. I will be working at the ambulance company on Monday, so will miss the formal ceremonies. However, next Thursday, Karen and I will pay our respects at the Veterans' Memorial Garden located in Antelope Park in Lincoln. Main reason - the Nebraskans killed in Vietnam were my military brothers, no matter what branch of service. Nebraska has the dubious distinction of having one of the first casualties of that war and lost young men until 1974. So we go see how the guys are doing on the other side. That miniature wall is a reminder that too many don't even know is there. So if you see the old gray-haired guy standing and saluting, that's probably me. Every generation in this country has lost loved ones, family or friends in declared and undeclared wars.
One of the comments in the website above is that there are no longer parades on that day, just special sales. That really sucks, people.
Here are my thoughts on why this has happened. Until the end of the draft, the US armed forces had members from all walks of life; even with generous exemptions for education, essential occupations, sole surviving sons of members who were killed on active duty, criminal records, physical or psychological limitations. Since the all-volunteer forces were established, a much smaller number of people have been at risk, although they are placed in harm's way more frequently. Our military is substituting lethal technology for direct soldier to soldier combat, which reduces the number of dead bodies on the battlefield. Fewer relatives, loved ones and friends are affected by each loss. So a greater number of civilians are unaffected by casualties. Besides, "They are volunteers; they knew the risks". It is way easier to put a "support the troops" yellow magnet ribbon on your trunk than to visit a ceremony or service that honors those who died serving their country.
David L Morgan, Captain, USAF, 1969-1978
"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it." - Mark Twain
A local Roll of Honor in the hallway outside the Village Office has the names of all the Alvo Consolidated School veterans, with stars for the two killed in World War II. Did you know an Alvo woman also served our country?
The Fire and Rescue Station, 135 Main Street, will be open Monday, 27 May 2013 from 1900 - 2000 and Wednesday from 1700 - 1900 for anyone wanting to view the Honor Roll.
Warning Siren Information
The Alvo siren is activated by either the Cass County Sheriff's Office Communications Center or by the Cass County Emergency Operations Center by radio link. When a severe weather warning is received from either volunteer fire and rescue storm spotters, law enforcement or from the National Weather Service, the appropriate sirens in the county will be activated with a 2-3 minute steady wail. There is NO all clear signal.
All the county sirens are tested on the first Saturday of the month between 1000 and 1100.
When you hear the wail, TAKE COVER! DO NOT grab your lawn chair, a six-pack and your smart phone to attempt to make a viral YouTube video. We will have too many idiot storm chasers running around the county already.
Free Blood Pressure Clinic
Monday, 3 June 2013 from 1800 to 1900 at the Fire and Rescue Station. Let the Alvo Rescue EMS members check your vital signs. Blood glucose checks on request. All information will be kept confidential.
Village Board - Tuesday, June 4th at 1930 hours at the Village Hall, 135 Main Street. Note the date change.
Alvo Fire Department - Wednesday, 5 June, 1900 hours at the Alvo Fire and Rescue Station, 135 Main Street.
Alve Rescue Squad - Wednesday, 12 June, 1900 hours at the Alvo Fire and Rescue Station, 135 Main Street.
Alvo Methodist Church
Services at 08:30 AM on Sunday until the new minister arrives in July, when the start time will change to 09:00 AM. Pastor - Karen Lamb. Organist - Bonnie Rosenboom. Violinist - Lee Copple. I don't think many other churches in Cass County have a regular violinist. Bonnie and Lee are lifelong Alvo people. Lee attended Alvo Consolidated until the 5th grade and Bonnie attended until the sixth grade when Alvo consolidated with Eagle.