This weekend, Memorial Day officially kicks off the beginning of the summer season. This year, spring has been a bit slow in coming. With temperatures finally becoming seasonable, we can hopefully look forward to a wonderful weekend.
The first official Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, took place 150 years ago on May 30, 1858 at Arlington National Cemetery. At the time, Commander-in-Chief John A. Logan of the grand Army of the Republic issued General Order Number 11 designating May 30 as a memorial day. According to Logan it was “for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.”
If you have never been there, Arlington National Cemetery is a place you must see. Each year a wreath is placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and each grave is decorated with a small flag. Manhasset Boy Scouts Troops 71 and 97 continue this tradition here in Manhasset as they lay a memorial wreath at the monument adjacent to Memorial Field. Troop 97 and the American Legion Post 304, along with other posts, will decorate the graves of veterans at local cemeteries and Long Island National Cemetery in Pinelawn. This tradition is tribute to the lives of men and women who gave their lives so that we may be free. This freedom is precious and should not be taken for granted. Thanks to our military and God bless America!