We Remember LbNA # 33753 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||Aug 3 2007|
Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.
“We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance,” the general is recorded as saying in the order. “Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”
The first large memorial was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., and it included speeches, decorating both Union and Confederate graves with flowers, prayers and singing hymns.
Approximately 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, many of them in the South where most of the war dead were buried. Finally, In 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y., the “birthplace” of Memorial Day. There, a ceremony on May 5, 1866, honored local veterans who had fought in the Civil War.
By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.
But it wasn’t until after World War I, that the day was expanded to honor Americans who died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.
Chronicled at Athens Cemetery are the generations that forged the rich heritage of the City of Athens, along with veterans of the Indian wars, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korea
and Vietnam. This letterbox is dedicated to all those men and women who have served our great nation!
Directions to the Box:
On the North side of the Henderson County Courthouse square in Athens, turn south on Prairieville and drive 0.3 miles to the entrance of the Athens Cemetery. The Cemetery opens at sunrise and closes 30 minutes before sunset. Drive straight into the cemetery until you run out of road. (Do not turn left) At the end of the road, walk towards the large pink granite marker bearing the name Perryman. As you stand in front of the Perryman marker face right. Walk approximately 30 steps to the large mosoleum of Vietnam Veteran and former Athens Postmaster, Bill Jackson. Behind this mosoleum is a large cedar tree. We Remember is behind this tree.
Please replace and cover well.