Remembering Heroes: Community plans Memorial Day celebration
By By SHERRY DIGMON
Advance Staff Writer
Memorial Day is a day of Day of Remembrance.
Atmore residents are urged to fly their U.S. flags on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, and to join Atmore veterans in paying tribute to their fallen comrades.
Activities will begin with a downtown parade. Parade participants will line up at 10 a.m. at the American Legion building and march to city hall for a Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony at 11 a.m.
A flag disposal ceremony by Atmore veterans and scouts will be held Memorial Day evening, at 7 p.m., behind the old Bartel Meat Market building. Atmore residents may bring flags to the ceremony or drop them in a flag disposal box at the American Legion building in advance of the ceremony.
The Escambia County Veterans Memorial Committee and the American Legion will observe Memorial Day at 9 a.m., at the Escambia County Memorial at the Brewton County Courthouse.
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation's Civil War dead by decorating their graves. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers.
In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May. (Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor all veterans, living and dead, is celebrated each year on November 11.)
Today, Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. Also, it is customary for the president or vice-president to give a speech honoring the contributions of the dead and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. About 5,000 people attend the ceremony annually.