Memorial Day: Remembering fallen heroes

By SAMMY WAY
Posted 5/27/18

According to a Memorial Day website, www.usmemorialday.org, Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and was designated to remember those who died while serving the United States of America. The site notes that there are more than two dozen …

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Memorial Day: Remembering fallen heroes

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According to a Memorial Day website, www.usmemorialday.org, Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and was designated to remember those who died while serving the United States of America. The site notes that there are more than two dozen cities and communities that claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day; however, Waterloo, New York, was officially declared the birthplace by President Lyndon B. Johnson in May of 1966. Research reveals that there is no definitive conclusion as to the actual site. Memorial Day was recognized in the northern states by 1880; however, the South refused to acknowledge the date, preferring to honor its dead at a different time. This tradition continued until after World War I when both parties decided that May 30 would be designated to honor all Americans who died in combat.

Historians generally agree that the catalyst for Memorial Day was the Civil War and the desire to honor those who died in this massive conflict. "It was officially proclaimed on 5 May, 1868, by Gen. John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic in his General Order No. 11. The 30th of May, 1868, was designated for the purpose of strewing flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet, churchyard in the land. The date for Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn't the anniversary of any particular battle."

The community of Sumter has sent hundreds of its sons and daughters to protect and defend this land and ideals, and it pauses each year to remember those who have fallen. We encourage readers to visit the Sumter County military display in the James E. Clyburn Intermodal Transportation Center on Harvin Street from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, May 28, and from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. each Sunday and also every Friday from 8 a.m. until noon. We also encourage veterans or family members to provide photographs of those who have served in the military for placement on the "Wall of Honor" at the display.

Individuals do not have to be Sumter natives - only to have served. All original photos will be returned as soon as possible. Anyone with questions may contact Sammy Way at (803) 774-1294 for further information.

The military display has assembled a "Field of Flags" to honor the 233 veterans from Sumter County who died in defense of our nation. This display will be located adjacent to the Clyburn building which serves as the home of the military display.