Area offers Memorial Day programs for public
This week, the Tribune will print early and will be available to local readers on Friday afternoon and in the mail on Saturday.
It is the annual holiday Memorial Day that forces us to early publication.
Memorial Day is a solemn holiday, and it allows family, friends and all Americans a chance to remember and honor those who died in the military service of this country. Often, these days, the holiday signifies the beginning of the summer season. And while it gives us a three-day weekend at the end of May, it is vitally important that we take at least some time to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for this country.
Local residents have a number of opportunities to honor those who served and died for this country. Here is a rundown of those special Memorial Day services in this area. All events are on Memorial Day, except the Grove Lake events.
In Glenwood, the annual Memorial Day service begins at 10 a.m. at Central Square. Gordy Wagner will again serve as master of ceremonies, and Tom Warmka, a Vietnam veteran, will be the keynote speaker. A parade will follow the program.
In Starbuck, the Memorial Day program will start at 10:30 a.m. at the Starbuck City Park and Rep. Paul Anderson will be the main speaker, and Howard Steen will also speak.
In Lowry, the program starts at 10:30 a.m. at the Lowry Community Center and lunch will follow.
In Villard, the annual Memorial Day parade gets underway at 10 a.m.
In Grove Lake, a community potluck is set for Sunday, May 28 and the lunch will begin at 11 a.m. and a traditional march will start at 1 p.m. at Grove Lake Park.
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I was doing a bit of research on the holiday, and I’ll share a bit of what I found.
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Ill., established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers.By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service.
In 1915, following the Second Battle of Ypres, Belgium, Lt. Col. John McCrae, a physician with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, wrote the poem, In Flanders Fields. Its opening lines refer to the fields of poppies that grew among the soldiers’ graves in Flanders.
In 1918, inspired by the poem, YWCA worker Moina Michael attended a YWCA Overseas War Secretaries’ conference wearing a silk poppy pinned to her coat and distributed over two dozen more to others present. In 1920, the National American Legion adopted it as their official symbol of remembrance.