5/20/2014 10:16:00 PM American Legion Post to host Memorial Day service
On Memorial Day, American Legion Post 796 will join the community in saluting the men and women who served in defense of our nation.
The Legion will host the community's annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 26, at 11 a.m., on the campus of Coal City Intermediate School, site of the community veteran's memorial.
The context of the ceremony will focus on remembering local servicemen who made the supreme sacrifice. In all, 761 Coal City residents were called to military service from World War I to Vietnam; 24 of them did not return home.
Memorial Day is a day to pay tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in defense of freedom.
Three years after the Civil War ended, May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans-the Grand Army of the Republic-established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.
Major General John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would bloom all over the country. The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped verandah of the Arlington Mansion, once the home of General Robert E. Lee.
It was not until after World War I that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then it was placed as the last Monday in May.
To ensure the sacrifices of America's fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law the National Moment of Remembrance Act, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance.
The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day for one minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.
In addition to the local memorial service at Coal City Intermediate School, services will be held across the country. Locally, services will be held at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, 20953 W. Hoff Road, Elwood, beginning at 11:30 a.m. and the John Martin Steele of VFW Post 6049 will sponsor a parade that will start at Chapin Park in Morris around 10:30 a.m. and end with a ceremony at the Grundy County Courthouse.