Thursday, May 27, 2010

Socorro DAV Members To Gather On Memorial Day

By John Larson

SOCORRO - Members of the Socorro chapter of Disabled American Veterans will gather at Isidro Baca Memorial Park for an honor ceremony this Monday (Memorial Day) at 11 a.m. The ceremony will include remarks by Socorro dignitaries and a rifle volley by the DAV Honor Guard.
Since 1971, when Congress declared it a national holiday, Memorial Day has been observed on the last Monday of May, commemorating U.S. men and women who died while in the military service.
Proclaimed in 1869 to honor fallen Union and Confederate soldiers of the Civil War, the first observance of Decoration Day at Arlington national Cemetery was attended by various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, who presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the Grand Army of the Republic made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.
The observance was expanded after World War I to include American casualties of any war or military action.
To ensure the sacrifices of America’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act.”
According the U.S. Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs, the commission’s charter is to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.
The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.
The Socorro DAV will also be accepting donations in exchange for small American flags Friday at the Post Office from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and at Wal-Mart on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Commander Paul Drake said proceeds from the flag sale will go toward flags for graves of veterans.
The DAV will also pay tribute to the members of the 515th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion at Monday’s ceremony.
The observance at Isidro Baca Park will be followed by a cookout at the DAV, 200 N. Fifth Street.

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