Tuesday, June 15, 2021
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Picture1The Veteran’s Memorial at Pendleton Park Committee will hold an event for Memorial Day on Monday, May 31, at sunset at the park. They will be honoring the cities Veterans that died in service to their country.

Current city and state COVID restrictions apply, such as limiting person attendance to maintain social distancing. The event will be available on Facebook for those that are unable to attend in person.

For more information about Pendleton Park, how to get involved, and the city’s local Veterans, visit their website at harlingenveterans.com. Show your support and remembrance by purchasing a special paver or donate to support the park.

Veterans Memorial at Pendleton Park is located at 1425 Morgan Blvd. in Harlingen. The park holds three annual events – Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Wreaths Across America Day.

Memorial Day Information written by Lenore Combs

Memorial Day is an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, honoring our men and women who died in the course of battle while serving in the US Military.

It is a sacred day of observance, centered on acknowledging, remembering, and thanking millions of people in uniform who gave their lives for our country. It is a time to properly pause, reflect and pay our respects of soldiers to whom we owe our many freedoms.

Memorial Day is also known as Decoration Day. It originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day in many ways - visiting and decorating gravesites with flowers, having memorials, or holding family gatherings and participating in parades or ceremonies.

Some observe Memorial Day by wearing a red poppy in remembrance of those fallen in war – a tradition that began with a WWI poem “In Flanders Field” – the story of the Poppy by Lt. Col., Doctor John McCrae. The poppy flower only grows in the absence of other flowers and only in ground that has been churned. After an exhausting night on duty, caring for his soldiers, Dr. McCrae observed these poppies growing in between the crosses of the soldier’s graves. It inspired him to write the poem after a brutal night of death and destruction.

Each year, on Memorial Day, there is a National Moment of Remembrance. It takes place at 3 p.m. local time and many Churches participate in this tradition of the “tolling of the bells.” It is unclear from where this tradition originated but after the Civil War ended in 1895, it had claimed more lives than any other conflict in U.S. history. This required the establishment of the country’s first National Cemeteries.

Decoration Day – on May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan called for a nationwide day of remembrance. The 30th of May 1868 is designated for the purpose of strewing flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country, he proclaimed.

The term Decoration Day was chosen because it was not the anniversary of any particular battle. General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Civil War Soldiers buried there.

Now after WWI, the US found itself embroiled in another major conflict and the holiday evolved to commemorate American Military personnel who died in all wars including WWII, Korea, and Iraq/Afghanistan.

Some familiar tributes that might be seen at Memorial Day observances could be the tolling of the Bells, The Soldier’s Cross, The Missing Man Remembrance Table, a Candlelight Ceremony, and a Wreath-laying ceremony followed by TAPS.

This year in particular is the Centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. (1921-2021) This is Arlington’s National Cemetery’s most iconic memorial overlooking Washington D.C. It is the final resting place for one of America’s unidentified WWI service members and Unknowns from later wars that were added in 1958 and in 1984. President Eisenhower approved the selection for both WWII and Korea in 1958. This tomb is also a place of mourning and a site for reflection on military service. In 1978, Viet Nam was added and more recently, Iran/Afghanistan.

(Veterans Day – this distinction is celebrated in November and is the day we set aside to thank and honor all Veterans who served – wartime, peacetime, regardless of whether they died or survived. It is always the 11th of November and celebrated at the 11th hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. – a day that remain in infamy - we signed the Treaty.)

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