PACIFIC COUNTY — Formerly known as Decoration Day, and now observed on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day commemorates men and women who died in military service to the United States.

It was established in 1868, three years after the end of the Civil War, by the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans that called for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Major General John A. Logan declared May 30 as the day of observance, a date believed to have been chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

After World War I the day was expanded to honor those who died in all American wars. Congress made it a national holiday in 1971. In addition to attending memorial services and decorating graves with American flags, Americans fly the flag at half-staff from dawn until noon on Memorial Day. “… at noon their memory is raised by the living who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.”

On Monday, May 27, the Peninsula will pause to remember those men and women who answered our nation’s call and never returned, as well as those who suffered because of injuries received during military service and those who are serving today. We pay solemn tribute to those whose sacrifices allow us to sleep under the blanket of freedom. As we come together, we will celebrate the lives and sacrifice of America’s fallen or injured heroes, and those who are serving today.

Sponsored by the Don R. Grable American Legion Post #48 and its Auxiliary, the Elks Lodge (B.P.O.E.1937) and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Memorial Day observances will begin at the Surfside Veterans’ Park (306th PL & “I” Street) at 8:30 a.m., then continue at the Oysterville Cemetery at 9 a.m., the Ocean Park Cemetery at 9:30 a.m., (coffee served), and the Lone Fir Cemetery at 10:15 a.m. The main cemetery program will be at the Ilwaco Cemetery at 11 a.m., followed by an observance at the Black Lake Memorial.

Following the Black Lake observance, all are invited to the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum for a program and lunch provided by the American Legion and its Auxiliary and the Elks.

For further information, please call American Legion Post 48 Vice Commander Dick Wallace at 642-4188 or Auxiliary President Janet Easley, 665-5580.

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