Memorial Day’s History and Meaning
Memorial Day is a great time to relax with friends and family, plant the garden, cook out on the grill, and hopefully, take a little time off from work. But first and foremost, it’s a time to remember and honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
Originally known as “Decoration Day”, it originated in the years following the Civil War as many communities voluntarily honored those lost in the Civil War.
- 1866 Waterloo, New York first hosts an annual, community-wide event on May 5th. Businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.
- 1868 General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance, to be called “Decoration Day.” It was held on May 30th for more than a hundred years.
- 1966 The federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day.
- 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees.
- 1971 Memorial Day became an official federal holiday on the last Monday in May.
The Pennfield Exchange Club is holding a geranium sale this weekend at Oak Hill Cemetery. Member Bruce Phillips says they’ll be selling 10 inch pots of white, pink, and red geraniums for $25.00. The sale is happening Friday May 24th and Saturday May 25, from 10am-4pm.
Special Ceremonies will be held on Sunday at Fort Custer National Cemetery. The 2019 Memorial Day “Program of Remembrance” at the Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, Michigan, will take place Sunday, May 26, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. The May 26th Program will include patriotic music by the Cereal City Concert Band, Kalamazoo Area Pipers, and a flyover by the renowned Hooligans Flight Team. Guest speaker is Mr. James Doelling, Director Battle Creek Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The Laying of Wreaths to our fallen heroes and numerous other memorable and moving events will highlight the ceremonies. .
WBCK will have special programming on Memorial Day, from 9am to noon.
- 8am Monday: Join WBCK and Fox News for "With Honor And Sacrifice." Host Tonya J. Powers will examine some of the challenges our military members face upon returning home from active duty, and the ways our country is coming together to help our veterans and their families heal on the home front-- and remember the fallen.
- Then, from 9am-noon, it’s ”Home Away From Home - The Fisher House Story” hosted by Mary Walter. Fisher House provides military and veteran service members’ families with free housing while the service member or veteran receives medical care at a local military or veteran’s hospital.
WBCK Memorial Day programs are supported by Wills Auto Service, Bachman Hebble Funeral Service and CTI Mechanical.