According to the US Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs: In 1966, Congress & 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. Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff. By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.
Veterans’ Day honors all veterans but Memorial Day is for those soldiers who gave their lives in American wars. Here are a few of my family’s soldiers who answered the call to service and never came home again.
Our family’s Civil War Soldiers, Union:
§ Thomas Jefferson Mark 1840 – 1863, 118 Reg., Co E OH Volunteer Infantry
§ John Mark 1842 – 1862, 16 Reg., Co C OH Volunteer Infantry
§ David Ritter 1842 – 1863, 16 Reg., Co A OH Volunteer Infantry
Our family’s Civil War Soldiers, Confederate:
§ James P Brown 1844 – 1862, Pvt Co E, 22nd Reg, MS Volunteers
§ Martin Penn Brumfield 1837 – 1862, 9th LA Infantry, Co I, Rifles
§ Burrell T Fortenberry 1820 – 1863, Pvt 9th LA Calvary
Our family’s World War II Soldier:
|Guy Eugene Mark|
· Guy Eugene Mark 1923 – 1945, Killed & buried in Guadalcanal