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Memorial Day Events and History: From Decoration Day to Summer Kickoff

Mon May 27 2013 8:41 am
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Arlington Heights Mayor Thomas Hayes (left) and former Mayor Arlene Mulder at the singing of the National Anthem prior to the SALUTE, Inc. 10th Annual “Got Freedom” race starting lane mon Miner Street, just east of Dryden.

PHOTOS … Memorial Day Parade May 27, 2013 (Over 500 photos) …

PHOTOS … Memorial Day Ceremony at Memorial Park May 27, 2013 (Over 400 photo) …

Memorial Day Weekend Events 2013: Memorial Day Concert, SALUTE 10K Run, 5K Run/Walk, Parade/Ceremony

Memorial Day Weather Forecast for Arlington Heights and Northwest Suburbs

Memorial Day Parade and Memorial Park Ceremony 2013
A new honor flag unit marched near the beginning of the parade, with participants wearing sashes with the names of 129 military members from nearby communities. The new flag unit is the work of Jackie Glueckert and John Glueckert, Jr., who organized the honor flag unit sponsored by Glueckert Funeral Home. The U.S. flags lined the sidewalk paths inside Memorial Park during the Memorial Day Ceremony after the parade.

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) rode the Memorial Day Parade in a red Ford Mustang with former Arlington Heights Mayor Arlene Mulder and spoke at the Memorial Day Ceremony at Memorial Park after the parade. He spoke highly of Arlington Heights calling it a “center of normalcy” and explaining that he was sorry he missed last year’s event while recovering from a stroke. The Naval intelligence officer prior to entering service in politics, Kirk chided the Marines that they know that the Navy is not just a taxi service. He expressed his gratitude to World War II vets “for saving our civilization.”

Senator Kirk presented a Bronze Star Daniel Field on behalf of his father, World War II veteran Edward Arthur Field.

Korean War Veteran Wally Luettschwager, Vietnam War Veteran William “Bill” Dussling and D. Court Harris, a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. D. Court Harris humorously spoke of not ever remembering an opportunity to speak to superiors and a members of Congress during his military service.

The list of veterans that have passed away since last year on Memorial Day was read. Also, a large silver bell was rung 58 times — once for each of the names of Arlington Heights “Fallen Heroes” that were read. Families of some of “Fallen Heroes” were present and rang the bell themselves.

Sponsored wreaths were placed at the “Eternal Flame” sculpture, a 21-gun salute was fired with rifles, and ‘Taps’ was played as part of the traditional ceremony.

Greg Padovani, who is the main organizer of the event and the “Drive to Revive” effort re-develop Memorial Park, also led the Memorial Day ceremony at Memorial Park.

PHOTOS … Memorial Day Parade May 27, 2013 (Over 500 photos) …

PHOTOS … Memorial Day Ceremony at Memorial Park May 27, 2013 (Over 400 photo) …

See also …

State of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn at pre-race National Anthem has been a supporter of SALUTE, Inc since the beginning when it was founded in 2003 by Will and Mary Beth Beiersdorf of Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Memorial Day is an extension of Decoration Day, which originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day was extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan issued a proclamation calling for “Decoration Day” to be observed annually and nationwide. The day was observed for the first time that year on May 30, which was chosen because it was not the anniversary of any particular battle. General John A. Logan was commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, the veterans’ organization for Union Civil War veterans. Memorial events were held in 183 cemeteries in 27 states in 1868, and 336 in 1869.

Also, The U.S. National Park Service attributes the beginning of Memorial Day to the ladies of Columbus, Georgia. The separate tradition of Memorial Day observance which had emerged earlier in the South was linked to the Lost Cause and served as the prototype for the national day of memory. Historians acknowledge the Ladies Memorial Association played a key role in its development. The “Lost Cause” is the name commonly given to an American literary and intellectual movement related to the Reconstruction Era of the U.S. South that sought to reconcile the traditional white society of the South to the defeat of the Confederate States of America in the American Civil War of 1861–1865.

On April 25, 1866, women in Columbus, Mississippi laid flowers on the graves of both the Union and Confederate dead in the city’s cemetery. The early Confederate Memorial Day celebrations were simple, somber occasions for veterans and their families to honor the dead and tend to local cemeteries. By 1890, there was a shift from the emphasis on honoring specific soldiers to a public commemoration of the lost Confederate cause. Changes in the ceremony’s hymns and speeches reflect an evolution of the ritual into a symbol of cultural renewal and conservatism in the South with association with Nationalism of the United States fully established about 1913.

The first used of “Memorial Day” was in 1882, but the common use of “Memorial Day” preferred to “Decoration Day” did not occur until after World War II. The official name of “Memorial Day” was not declared by Federal law until 1967.

On June 28, 1968, the Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved Washington’s Birthday from February 22 to the third Monday in February, Memorial Day from May 30 to the last Monday in May, Columbus Day from October 12 to the second Monday in October, and Veterans Day from November 11 to the fourth Monday in October (returned to November 11 in 1978. The fixed dates change to designated Mondays was accomplished in order to create a convenient three-day weekend.

Memorial Day is also the unofficial beginning of the Summer season.

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CLEAR SKIES?  Weather Data for Monday, May 27th, 2013

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