To the editor:
As we mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. It is particularly important to pay attention this Memorial Day. While we remember all who gave “their last full measure” in the defense and service of our country, we should also remember the origin of Memorial Day.
Gen. John A. Logan, commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (made up of Union veterans of the Civil War) issued General Order 11 on May 5, 1868. In it he stated, “The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated 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.”
It is especially fitting that this year, marking the start of the 150th remembrance of the Civil War, that Memorial Day as originally intended falls on the last Monday of May, which was created to make a three-day weekend.