Ticonderoga’s Memorial Day 2015
Ticonderoga’s American Legion Post #224 and its auxiliary Sons of Veterans continued their annual program of “Raising the Colors” at several town cemeteries, Boy Scout Memorial, Nursing Home and the town Veteran’s Memorial today.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, had its beginning shortly after the American Civil War as a day to remember the dead. Officially this day was proclaimed on May 5th, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic under his “General Order No. 11 – The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with 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.” This date was chosen because it was not an anniversary of any battle. New York State was the first state of the union to recognize it in 1873.
In 1971 the congress changed the date to allow for a “three day weekend.”
Red Poppies, a long time symbol, associated with this day became popular after being inspired by the World War I poem “In Flanders Fields.” In 1915 Moina Michael wrote her response to that earlier poem ~
“We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.”
From this she went on to promote the wearing of red poppies on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving the nation during the war. Here in the United States in 1922 the VFW became the first veteran’s organization to nationally sell poppies.
In 2007 the Ticonderoga Historical Society began a memory walk “On Hallow Grounds” as a means to remember veterans buried in the town’s cemeteries. Today’s memorial ceremony was held at seven of Ticonderoga’s burial grounds in which lie many veterans who served since the beginning of this nation. As a tribute to those who served our remembrances are added to the formal ceremony so well presented by members from Ticonderoga’s American Legion Post and their Sons of Veterans.