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Sunday, June 3, 2018

Memorial Day History and Traditions

Kevin Surbaugh


This past Monday was Memorial Day. A day when we take time to honor the men and women who have died while serving in the United States military. We do this in many ways. There are ceremonies to honor those fallen veterans who sacrificed their lives so that we could have the freedoms that we hold dear. Others decorate the graves of all of the loved ones who had passed away. Still, others use the day, as the unofficial first day of summer with barbeques and family get-togethers.
photographer Kevin Surbaugh
Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated in 1868, following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.  It was held on May 30 from 1868 to 1970. However, in 1968 Congress moved four holidays, including Memorial Day from their traditional day to a Monday. That law took effect with the 1971  calendar.
According to Wikipedia,
 The preferred name for the holiday gradually changed from "Decoration Day" to "Memorial Day," which was first used in 1882. Memorial Day did not become the more common name until after World War II, and was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967.
Around the country, this year, people decorated graves, help memorial services at cemeteries, the most was the annual service and laying of the wreath at the tomb of the unknown,  enjoyed the opening weekend of public pools and barbequed. Here in Baldwin City, it was no different.

photographer Kevin Surbaugh
The local American Legion Post 228 held a Memorial Day Service at Oakwood Cemetery on Memorial Day at 10:00 a.m. In addition, the Baldwin City Pool opened for the first time for the 2018 season.  The opening day was a free day at the Baldwin City Pool.  At about 3:30 there had been 430 people that had entered the pool, according to pool staff.  The Pool was open between 12 and 7 p.m. Around town, you see smoke coming from barbeque grills and smell the delicious aroma coming from those charcoals.  

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