BEND AREA — Local military personnel who lost their lives while serving will be remembered on Memorial Day, when ceremonies are held at each veterans monument throughout the Bend Area.
Members of the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W. Post 9926 of Mason and the Smith-Capehart American Legion Post 140 of New Haven will hold services Monday in Clifton, Mason, Hartford, and New Haven to honor the fallen soldiers.
The ceremonies will begin in Clifton at 10 a.m. The Clifton veterans monument is located along Rt. 62. The groups will then move to Mason at 10:15 a.m., where the monument is located on Second Street on the Mason Senior Citizen Center site.
At 10:30 a.m., the service will be held at Hartford. The monument is located on Rt. 62 near the Hartford Post Office. The final stop will be at the New Haven monument at 10:45 a.m. It is on Fifth Street near the New Haven Fire Station.
Included in each service is the placing of a wreath, as well as blocks of red, white and blue carnations on the monument. Prayer and a tribute to the fallen are read, before a gun salute and the playing of “Taps.”
Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Originally called Decoration Day, it is a day of remembrance for those who died in military service for the United States.
President Lyndon Johnson officially declared Waterloo, N.Y. as the birthplace of Memorial Day in May 1966. It was celebrated on May 30 until 1971, when the National Holiday Act of 1971 designated the last Monday in May to be Memorial Day.
The first official observance was held May 30, 1868, under proclamation by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and involved placing flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at [email protected]