Memorial Day, Decoration Day, or Remembrance Day, depending on the area of the country and the era you grew up in will depend on what you call the last Monday in May. But regardless of the name the purpose is the same; to remember those who have died and honor their memory. Many towns have Memorial Day traditions and Elmwood, Nebraska fills the day honoring the veterans who served and made the ultimate sacrifice.
Starting on Friday of Memorial Day weekend the Elmwood Nebraskan American Legion raises all the flags to half mast at the cemetery in remembrance to all the fallen veterans. In addition to the Stars and Stripes, the flags of the military branches are also displayed: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and the POW-MIA recognition flag.
Most cemeteries have traditions for their veterans and just like Arlington National Cemetery, the veterans buried in Elmwood are honored with a cross and a flag to remind everyone they served their country with honor and pride. American Legions around the country provide the medallion flag holders as a visual reminder for communities that we need to always remember and never forget.
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Grand Army of the Republic, the Union Army of the Civil War. Nebraska was a young state back in 1865 when this cemetery memorial was erected but it was a proud state to have aligned themselves with freedom. Statues like this are common on the east coast in fact some say they litter the country sides and cemeteries to a point where the impact is diluted. But in Nebraska it’s unique, so I’m posting it as a reminder of soldiers long ago.
I hope my Dad has a military marker on his headstone. Some cemeteries don’t want ornaments of markers that stand up, they get in the way of mowers, but I think it’s an honorable tradition and I enjoy walking through our towns cemeteries and reading the stories of each veteran.