PENINSULA — On Monday, May 30, 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.  

Sponsored by the Don R. Grable Post No. 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 Oysterville Cemetery at 8:45 a.m., then continue at the Ocean Park Cemetery at 9:15 a.m. and the Lone Fir Cemetery at 10 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 Elks Lodge in Long Beach for lunch and a program, featuring American Legion member Desmond T. Doss, Jr. who will speak about his father, Desmond T. Doss, Sr., who was responsible for saving many lives while serving as an Army Medic during World War II in the Pacific.  He was awarded the Medal of Honor, two Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts for his service, even though he never carried a weapon, as killing for any reason was against his religion.  

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 U.S.

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.

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

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