Event at National Cemetery honors fallen heroes on Memorial Day

May 25, 2014 

The true spirit of Memorial Day can be found at the Fort Jackson National Cemetery.

TGLANTZ@THESTATE.COM — tglantz@thestate.com

The Memorial Day holiday once was known as Decoration Day, when citizens, towns and patriotic groups would decorate the graves of fallen soldiers.

Many towns claim to have started the tradition, although the first official Memorial Day was declared on May 30, 1868 by Gen. John Logan, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers in Arlington National Cemetery. Over the next two decades, the Northern states all came to recognize Memorial Day as an official holiday.

The Southern states, meanwhile, had separate days of recognition until after World War I, when the remembrance included more than just Civil War soldiers. It became a national holiday in 1971.

Today, Memorial Day is celebrated with cookouts, boat rides and pool parties, but Fort Jackson keeps alive the tradition of honoring our fallen heroes. Fort Jackson and the Fort Jackson National Cemetery will hold a joint Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony at 9 a.m. Monday at the cemetery, at 4170 Percival Road in Columbia.

Brig. Gen. Bradley Becker will be the guest speaker. The ceremony also will include the wreath laying service and patriotic music played and sung by the 282nd Army Band, said Kara Motosicky, a Fort Jackson spokeswoman.

The ceremony is free and open to the public. Attendees should be prepared for a short walk from the parking area to the ceremony, Motosicky said.

South Carolina’s other two national cemeteries will also hold Memorial Day wreath-laying ceremonies.

The Florence National Cemetery’s program begins at 10 a.m., and the Beaufort National Cemetery’s program begins at 11 a.m.

Bridget Winston, Special to The State

The State is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service