Memorial Day honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.
Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. It marks the unofficial start of the summer season.
Flag Etiquette: U.S. flags are to be flown at half-staff from sunrise, May 28, until noon. In traditional observance, the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.
Other traditional observances included wearing red poppies, visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes, and visiting memorials.
We are indeed grateful for all the service men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedoms, and we honor them this day.
The Natchitoches Parish Veterans and Memorial Park Committee will host a Memorial Day Service Monday, May 28 at 3 p.m. to honor Natchitoches veterans at the park and behind the Old Courthouse Museum on the corner of Second and Church streets.
Program highlights will include an opening prayer, posting of the colors by the Lakeview High School Jr. ROTC Color Guard, Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem, recognition of Gold Star Families, Memorial Day remarks by Sen. Gerald Long, roll call of parish veterans who have died in the past year, Taps and an update on park construction.
There will be a thank you to park sponsors.
The service will be open to the public. Following the ceremony, VFW/American Legion Posts will host as public reception to honor area veterans, friends and families. Refreshments and food will be served.