In America, the iconic holiday that unofficially begins the summer season in the eyes of many people is Memorial Day. This warm weather holiday is celebrated by traditional summer activities such as outdoor barbecues and swimming or boating. While many people enjoy this holiday because it gives them an opportunity for a relaxing day with friends and family, there is a much bigger meaning behind Memorial Day. A few years after the end of the Civil War, Americans celebrated Decoration Day as a way to honor their friends and relatives who had passed away during military service. By 1971, Memorial Day became an official American holiday that is celebrated on the last Monday in May.
American Legion Post 1980 and VFW Post 6051 of Woodland Park, CO work together to provide proper observance of Memorial Day. This ceremony begins the Saturday before Memorial Day with the placing of American flags on the graves of veterans at the cemeteries in Woodland Park, Divide and Westcreek. The cemetary at Woodland Park contains the graves of veterans of the Civil War to the present day War on Terrorism. Then on the morning of Memorial Day, American flags are posted at Lions Park which is at the crossroads of Hwy 24 & 67. Then later that morning at approximately 10:00am, a formal observance is performed at the Woodland Park cemetery. Here, the order creating Memorial Day is read followed by the laying of wreaths at the grave of the latest veteran to be buried at the cemetery. This is followed by a rifle salute and the playing of taps. The public is invited.
By Larry Ingram, USN-Ret
The following is provided by American Legion Post 1980, Woodland Park, CO