By K.B. Sherman, Contributing Writer
Memorial Day is a federal holiday for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s military.The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day in 1868, after the American Civil War, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service.
It’s an appropriate time to remember proper flag etiquette. When the American flag passes in review, people should stand and cover their hearts with their right hands, just as during the Pledge of Allegiance. Military members in uniform salute, as should veterans who are wearing caps, just as during the Pledge.
The celebration in Grafton Center began with the march forming at Norcross Park and preceding to town center via North Street. After the ceremony, the parade moved down Route 140 to the Grafton Middle School and to the American Legion Delisle-Goulet Post 92. Earlier in the day, ceremonies were held at several town cemeteries and at Soldiers’ Memorial at Main and Elmwood Streets. The parade and ceremony were organized by American Legion Post 92 in North Grafton and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1497 in South Grafton.