Memorial Day

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May.

In keeping with the decree of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Gov. Crapo Camp celebrates a traditional Memorial Day on the 30th day of May.

Please join us at Aventine Cemetery and help us keep this sacred holiday alive!


Gov. Crapo Camp Guard, Memorial Day 2004


"Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred
remains and garland the passionless mounds above them
with the choicest flowers of springtime"

(From General Order #11)


The Fenton Independent
May 27, 1893

Memorial Day is a consecrated day. Tuesday next is sacred to the martyred soldiery of the republic; to those who hazarded or surrendered their lives, that the union might endure unimpaired and triumphant. It is fitting that the people of a once rent but now reunited nation should take occasional pause to contemplate the truths of their history and pay memorial honors to the men who fell in vindicating them. Memorial day commemorates a large proportion of the men who actively took part in a war that tried men's souls; a war that cost over 300,000 loyal lives; made over 400,000 cripples for life, and left over 500,000 widows and orphans dependent on the charities of the world. Year by year more of them sink away into graves on which those still sorrowing lay their tribute of flowers when the 30th day of May comes again. Again in accordance with the established custom we are to assemble on this Memorial day to visit the graves of our deceased comrades, to there lay upon them our annual offering of flowers, and to pay to their memories that respect due to noble deeds gallantly accomplished. Let us approach the holy ceremonial with devout bearing and with minds fully impressed with the solemnity and import of the occasion remembering that we were partners in the trials and dangers which they encountered before they were called to wear the crown of martyrdom. Ah! how may hearts' idols were sacrificed that the union might be saved. Memorial Day! let all civic societies and citizens join in its ceremonies and be instructed by its lessons. Let us indeed do what we may individually and severally to perpetuate the sovereignty of white-winged peace, and cultivate a sentiment that shall convert all the horrible enginry of war into implements of industry.
J.S. Robertson, Com.