Every year on the last Monday in May, we honor those who passed away while serving our country’s armed forces. Once known as Decoration Day, this day in May was born in Waterloo, New York in 1868 and was designated for decorating graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the Civil War. On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery. Five thousand individuals decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.
We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
-Moina Michael, 1915
Moina Michael was inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields” and conceived the idea to wear red poppies in honor of those that served our country on Memorial Day. She was the first to wear one and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers. The money raised helped servicemen in need. Before Memorial Day in 1922, the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later, their “Buddy” Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans.
This Memorial Day, USD 475 would like to honor those men and women who have fought for and made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country.
To further honor those men and women our very own Junction City High School Blue Jay Marching Band will be performing in the National Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 29, 2017, at 2:00 PM EST. They are number 30F (the 12th high school band in the line-up) and can be viewed live by visiting the following links (no one group or marching band is guaranteed television time).
A list of local television stations in various states that will also broadcast the parade live: