To the Editor:
I decided to do some research regarding the origin of Memorial Day and found that in the nation, it dates back to the end of the Civil War when the national cemeteries were founded, and citizens across America began traditions to pay tribute to the many fallen soldiers (happy day?).
This research was prompted by my attendance at Lower Cape May Regional High School (LCMR) May 24 for the Wall of Honor installation for LCPL William Charles Lamon and SP4 Edward Rowe Smiley, Jr., two LCMR graduates killed in action (happy day?).
There were many events throughout Cape May County Memorial Day Weekend. My American Legion Post 193 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 386, along with a local Boy Scout troop, placed flags on the veterans' graves at St. Mary's Cemetery May 25 (happy day?).
Our ceremonies started at 8 a.m. Memorial Day with the flag raising at the Coast Guard Base. We placed wreaths at the Coast Guard Enlisted Memorial for the first time, which is engraved with the 1,700 names of those killed in the line of duty.
At 9 a.m., ceremonies were held at various locations, including the All Wars Memorial on Columbia Avenue in Cape May, the World War II Memorial at Wilbraham Park in West Cape May, our Post home on Congress Street in Cape May, and Cape May Convention Hall (happy day?).
Last but not least, was the ceremony at the Gerald M. Thornton Veterans Cemetery with flags on the thousands of graves flying in the breeze (happy day?).
Memorial Day is when we should honor our fallen heroes, the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice defending this great nation.
Next Memorial Day, make sure the first thing you do is to attend a local event with honor and gratitude to those who have given us the freedoms we enjoy, then go to the beach, fire up the grill and enjoy the rest of the day with family and friends.