The Ultimate Sacrifice
At the end of the Civil War, communities set aside a day to mark the end of the war and as a memorial to those who had died.
The first know observance was in New York in 1866. U. S. Senator John Logan (R-IL) In 1868, as head of a Civil War veterans organization, proclaimed that Americans should honor fallen servicemen by decorating their graves with flowers. That year, five thousand people attended the first ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery. The principal speaker was future president James Garfield (R-OH).
Logan was the GOP’s Vice Presidential Nominee in 1884 and served in 1868, as one of the managers in the impeachment of President Andrew Jackson.
Logan is credited with Memorial Day becaming an annual event, and President Richard Nixon signed it into law as a national holiday in 1971.
More than 1.5 million brave men and women actively serve in our military and fight around the world to protect our great nation from those who would do us harm. Every day, heroic and selfless acts are made by these servicemen and women on our behalf.
We thank them and also keep their families and friends back home in our thoughts and prayers.