Memorial Day is May 25
Monday, May 25, 2020 is Memorial Day in America. Traditionally in Falls County, the Falls County Historical Commission, supported by the American Legion Post #31, has held programs for both Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day to remember and to honor the men and women who served our country and is no longer living. This day is observed by law on the last Monday of May. Veterans Day is always observed on November 11 of each year and is a day to honor the living veterans who served, as well as those who passed on. A brief history of the beginning of Memorial Day by American Battlefield Trust follows:
Out of the Holocaust of the Civil War Arose America’s Most Solemn Holiday
The cessation of hostilities in the spring of 1865 brought a relieved calm on both the victorious North and the vanquished South. Families and communities across the reconstituted union welcomed home their battered and war-weary sons, bothers and husbands. But the sacrifices of the more than 650,000 soldiers and sailors who died during the course of the four-year ordeal were seared into the national consciousness. The holiday now known as Memorial Day sprang from earnest actions by communities on both sides to honor their gallant and glorious dead.
Honoring one’s war dead is inherently human, making it unsurprising that a number of communities profess to being the birthplace of our nation’s most solemn holy day. All told, some two dozen communities — including Boalsburg, Pa.; Carbondale, Ill.; Charleston, S.C.; and a pair of Columbuses, one in Georgia, the other in Mississippi — have made the claim.
Sadly, due to the present crisis with the cronovirus the Commission and American Legion have had to cancel the Memorial Day activity scheduled for May 25. This is not a decision taken lightly but due to the social distancing and concern for all the citizens who always attend we collectively believe this is in the best interest of all concerned. However, let us never forget on Memorial Day and each day of the year that we have a free country due to the sacrifices of the noble men and women of our great country. The Commission and Legion Post 31 will continue to observe the current situation and make plans to include Memorial Day as we plan future events. In the meantime, we can all honor the memory of our heroes by placing flags on their graves, watching videos and listening to radio programs portraying the events of our time leading to Memorial Day, supporting the national cemeteries and historical organizations that keep these memories alive for future generations, and praying for the wellbeing of the families and current members of the armed services. May God continue to bless this great nation and its people.
Elizabeth Nelson is the Vice-President of the Falls County Historical Commission.