Not surprising, three places claim to have started the celebration that eventually became Memorial Day by decorating the graves of those that died on both side of our Civil War. Waterloo, New York….Boalsburg, Pennsylvania…and Columbus, Mississippi.
There is agreement however that in 1868 it was General John Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic that designated May 30th as: a day for strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their Country and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village or hamlet churchyard in the land…
Since then, the defense of our freedom has resulted in the bodies of veterans lying in every community and city in our Country including here at the Augusta cemetery where veterans from every branch of service during every era lie in their final resting place.
During WWII over 6,800 American service members were interred in temporary graves on the island of Iwo Jima. Someone had handwritten a sign at the entrance that said:
When you go home, tell them for us.
For their tomorrows we gave our todays.
Memorial Day is our opportunity to say “thank You” to those who had no more tomorrows so that we can live in this great place we call America.
Memorial Day Prayer
Supreme Commandant, by Your grace we were born into freedom in the greatest Nation that has ever existed. We thank you for the guidance, clear mind and steady hand you gave our Founding Fathers.
Give our current leaders the courage and wisdom to do what is best for our Country and not just what is politically expedient…give our young people the will to do what is best for our Country and not just what makes them feel good for the moment…and give us all the conviction to be responsible citizens. To do less would be a dishonor to those we pay tribute to today.
At this very moment we have troops in faraway places defending our freedom. Be with them, watch over and protect them and return them safely to their families and all those that wait to embrace them again.
Supreme Commandant, between now and next Memorial Day You will have recruited many more veterans to Your platoon that will become the honored instead of the honoring. When they arrive at the gate send Your angels with trumpets blaring to greet them.
Continue to bless our community, our state and our Country.