General John A. Logan crafted Logan’s Order on May 5, 1868, to establish Decoration Day, now known as Memorial Day, on May 30 of each year. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country, and they could be used to honor and decorate the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers.

It’s a procession, not a parade. Many communities’ Memorial Day processions, often incorrectly called parades, are meant to be solemn occasions to remember our country’s fallen soldiers and the families they left behind.

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is widely believed to be the first official proclamation that memorialized American soldiers, a portion of which declares, “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom….”

Do you want to learn more? Valley VNA in Neenah will hold its annual event, “The Meaning of Memorial Day” on Friday, May 26, 2017, from 1:30 to 3 pm at Valley VNA Senior Services, 1535 Lyon Drive in Neenah. Please use the main entrance. The program will be indoors, and seating is provided. Reservations are not required.