We at the Wayne Township Trustee Office were happy to learn that Waynedale’s Memorial Day Parade is on again for 2021. We missed being there last year, due to the pandemic, as this parade gives us the opportunity to meet and greet the friendly residents of Waynedale who come out in honor of those service members who have given their lives to defend our American values. Since we couldn’t be there in 2020 this will be the first year that Austin Knox will attend as Trustee, and he is looking forward to marking that first in the parade.
Memorial Day is a day for 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.
While decorating the graves of fallen soldiers is an ancient practice, the occasion that became Memorial Day originated in the United States just after the Civil War when residents of both the North and the South created their own traditions of honoring their fallen heroes. Most all of those traditions involved decorating the soldiers’ graves with flags and flowers and other memorabilia. That is why the day was first called “Decoration Day,” as it still is known by a select few. When the twentieth century arrived the name “Memorial Day” had evolved to honor the memory of the men and women who died while serving in all the American military conflicts not just the Civil War. Memorial Day did not become an official Federal holiday until 1971.
Each year on Memorial Day people visit cemeteries and monuments particularly to honor those who have died in military service, but the day has for some become an occasion for remembering other deceased friends and relatives as well, and since the Memorial Day holiday is a three-day weekend these visits are often an opportunity to come together for traditional friend and family reunions.
Officially observed on the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is considered the unofficial start of the summer season in the United States with Labor Day, on the first Monday of September, marking the unofficial start of autumn. Veterans Day, honoring all veterans both living and dead, in November, brings to a close the yearly cycle of paying respect to our soldiers.
We salute and thank all who have served our country, especially those who “gave the last full measure of devotion” as Lincoln said in his Gettysburg Address. Please take time to thank a military family for their sacrifice, and we look forward to joining you in that effort at the parade on Monday, May 31st.
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