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May 28, 2010 > Memorial Day

Memorial Day

By Alissa Gwynn

For many people, Memorial Day is typically associated with a day off from work or school. However, this holiday signifies much more; originally dubbed "Decoration Day," (people would decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers) Memorial Day is a holiday to remember and honor those who have died in our nation's service.

Memorial Day was established by General John Logan in 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers following the Civil War. Waterloo, New York, is credited with having the first observance on May 5, 1968. After World War I, however, Memorial Day grew from honoring those who perished in the Civil War to those who died fighting in any war.

Today, many Southern States also hold their own Memorial days for honoring deceased Confederate soldiers; Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi celebrate Memorial Day in April, while North and South Carolina celebrate on May 10, rather than the national observance the last Monday of May.

In December of 2000, Congress passed the "National Moment of Remembrance Act" to "encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity..." Additionally, the act also encourages all Americans to take a minute of silence at 3 p.m. local time this Sunday afternoon to honor those who have died for our country.

Many community events are scheduled for Memorial Day weekend. Whether a barbeque, attending a Memorial Day Ceremony, visiting a cemetery, or simply just observing a moment of silence, there are many ways to show respect and honor the brave men and women who have died in our nation's service. Some public events in honor of Memorial Day are shown below:

Friday, May 28
Memorial Day Barbeque
City of Fremont Senior Center
40086 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont
$5 for Senior Center Members, $7 for non-members
(510) 790-6600

Saturday, May 29 & Monday, May 31
Memorial Weekend Steam
10 a.m.; 12 p.m.; 2 p.m.
SP2472 rides through Niles Canyon
Sunol Depot
6 Kilkare Road, Sunol
(925) 862-9063

Memorial Day Ceremony
Monday, May 31
11 a.m. - Noon
Honor our veterans, free picnic and BBQ
Lone Tree Cemetery
24591 Fairview Ave., Hayward
(510) 247-0777

Flight 93 Memorial Day Ceremony
Monday, May 31
2 - 2:30 p.m.
Remember and honor the 9/11 heroes
Sugar Mill Landing Park
Alvarado-Niles Rd. and Dyer St., Union City
(510) 247-0777

Memorial Day Ceremony
9 a.m.
Veterans Memorial Park
City Hall, Milpitas
455 E. Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas
(408) 586-3000

Memorial Day Open House
Monday, May 31
11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Biking, hiking, picnicking and more
Coyote Hills Regional Park
8000 Patterson Ranch Rd., Fremont
(510) 544-3220

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