Reflections: Memorial Day, my view


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

I view Memorial Day as one of somber remembrance reflected through flags, flowers, and services held throughout the country. Here, in Morrow County our small communities and larger villages each offer a service, some of those following a parade.

Originally called Decoration Day, it was founded in May, 1868 by General John Logan, who wanted a day to remember comrades who had died in the Civil War. Flowers decorated their graves. Following World War I it was declared as a day to recognize Americans who died in any war. In May, 1971, Congress declared through the National Holiday Act that Memorial Day would be observed the last Monday in May.

Locally, if one enters Glendale Cemetery from the Gilead Street entrance or the Glendale Avenue entrance on the Memorial Day weekend, the sight of flags fluttering at graves and flowers decorating those and others causes me to pause and reflect.

Jim Morris, with Jenkins-Vaughan Post 97 of the American Legion, said they place over 500 flags at the graves of those who served in the military. This includes the other four cemeteries that comprise the Glendale Union: Bethel, Weston Friends, Woodlawn and Purvis.

The placing of flags began after World War I, he said. Red poppies are also offered by members of the auxiliary for a donation. This money helps fund local veterans who are ill or those who are in Ohio Veterans Hospitals.

I remember my mother talking about Decoration Day when she was in school and at that time, all children carried flowers and marched to the cemetery where a program was held. Later, I marched with the high school band and still later my sons and the next generation, grandson, marched in the Memorial Day parade.

My late husband, a veteran, marched with the Rifle Squad of Post 97 for 40 years. The program in Cardington has always been held at the Civil War Monument in the cemetery.

Gazing across the cemetery at the flag decorated graves I think about those who put on a uniform to serve us. I also ponder the many others, with flowers marking their final resting places, who worked to preserve and continue the function of our communities so they would be there when our loved ones returned.

My father tried to enlist in World War I in 1917 but he was only 14 and they told him to “go home and grow up.” By the time World War II came along they wouldn’t take him because he had four children and was a farmer.

People like him were needed to “keep the home fires burning,” for those in the military service as they returned to resume their lives.

The cemetery is the final resting place of our forefathers and people who worked hard and contributed to where we are today. On May 28 Glendale Cemetery, as in cemeteries across the United States, ceremonies will be conducted remembering those veterans who gave so much for us.

I will have the entire history of Glendale Union Cemetery next week.

70 years ago, Memorial Day, 1938: Spanish-American War Veteran and Bucyrus Attorney William Beers stated in his Memorial Day address at Glendale Cemetery that all was obviously not well in the United States due to efforts being made to overthrow our form of government and the evidences of moral, intellectual and social decay. He said that eternal vigilance was required to perpetuate the nation.

The Cardington Rotary Club, No 4683 of Rotary International, was presented its charter. A total of 190 Rotarians from 13 Rotary Clubs attended the Ceremony held in the Cardington School cafeteria. F. O. Van Sickle was the Cardington Chapter’s first president. There were 26 charger members. Judge Karl Miller, a Cardington native, then living in Kansas, first suggested the formation of a Rotary Club in Cardington in 1925.

50 years ago, May, 1968: Jesse, Frank and Fred Jones, brothers, held a reunion in the Cardington home of Fred Jones. They had not been together for 44 years.

Judy Lamson of Cardington was named as one of nine finalists in the Miss Heart of Ohio contest. Patricia Hachten of Marion won the crown.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

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