Once again I am looking forward to participating in Waynedale’s Memorial Day Parade on May 27th. This will be my 13th year to be a part of this wonderful community get-together as the Wayne Township Trustee, and I’m just as excited as the first time to meet and greet the folks that come out for the festivities. I especially enjoy seeing all of the military veterans who come out. I look forward as well to commemorating our fallen heroes at the Prairie Grove Cemetery when you honor those who have fallen with the traditional laying of the wreath.
Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Originally called “Decoration Day” the name Memorial Day did not come into general use until after World War II. Memorial Day, or what was then “Decoration Day,” originated just after the Civil War to honor the fallen soldiers.
After the Civil War, residents of both the North and the South had their own versions of remembering their dead, but most all of them involved decorating the graves of fallen soldiers with flags and flowers and other memorabilia. That is why the day first was called “Decoration Day.” By the twentieth century, Memorial Day was cause to remember all men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces, as well as all veterans. Memorial Day did not become an official Federal holiday until 1971.
Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Memorial Day also became an occasion for remembering ones own relatives who had gone before. In the earlier part of the twentieth century, persons often visited the graves of their deceased relatives on that day. Sometimes these visits took on the character of family reunions. That is what happened in my family.
We would gather at Lindenwood Cemetery, where our relatives are buried, to honor them. My brother owns horses and a wagon and some of my family members rode in the wagon to the cemetery. After paying our respects to our departed relatives, we then gathered for a family meal. Until I learned the history of Memorial Day, I did not realize that my family’s Memorial Day observation was so steeped in tradition.
Memorial Day is considered the unofficial start of the summer vacation season in the United States, while Labor Day marks its end on the first Monday of September. With Veterans Day in November another season of paying respect to our soldiers comes to a close.
The sign in front of our office reads, “In Memory of Those Who Died Defending Our Freedom!” We salute and thank all of you who have served our country. Please take time to thank or help a military family. Help comes in many forms, and each of us can provide help in our own way.
* 2019 Waynedale Memorial Day Parade *
The public is invited to enjoy the annual Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony in Waynedale on Monday, May 27. The festivities begin at 9 a.m. and will last until about 10:30 a.m.
The parade, which begins lineup at 8:30 a.m. on Church Street and Old Trail Road in the Waynedale United Methodist Church parking lot, will step off at approximately 9 a.m. and end at the Prairie Grove Cemetery on Old Trail Road.
In Waynedale, we most importantly remember those who have given their lives for our freedom. Supporting our troops and families, hundreds of people proudly wave flags up and down Old Trail Road for the Memorial Day parade.
After, the parade crowd walks to Prairie Grove Cemetery to observe the 21-gun salute, playing of the National Anthem by Wayne High School, and a presentation honoring those who have fallen with the traditional laying of the wreath.
This year’s parade is organized by Waynedale Amvets Post 33 (260) 478-4114. Float Line Up is at 8:30am at the Waynedale United Methodist Church parking lot. Anyone is welcome to join in the parade, all they have to do is come to the Waynedale United Methodist Church by 8:00 a.m. Parade Marshall Mike Langston, will be coordinating the parade. He will direct your unit and let you know where in the parade lineup you will step off.
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