Gather at 9 a.m. May 28 to place flags at graves
LINCOLN (SNR) – May 2016 marks 150 years of celebrating Memorial Day.
Volunteers are needed to help prepare Calvary Cemetery near 40th and ‘O’ streets in Lincoln for the holiday.
Bishop James Conley will celebrate Mass at Calvary Cemetery at 10 a.m. May 30. The day will include the national anthem by a local barbershop quintet, the playing of “Taps,” and music provided by the choir from Cristo Rey Parish in Lincoln.
Flags will be posted on the graves of all veterans, so that their service may be remembered at the Mass. Volunteers are invited to assist placing the flags, starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 28.
“It is an ideal time to remember Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said U.S. Marine Corps veteran Richard Zierke, a member of St. Patrick Parish in Lincoln and a member of the VFW.
He recalled from a VFW publication, “Since the time when Robert Monroe was killed by the British at Lexington on April 19, 1775, and when Staff Sgt. Matthew Mcclintock was KIA in Afghanistan on Jan. 5, 2016, some 1. 2 million Americans have sacrificed their lives in wartime. That deserves remembering, and that is what the special tribute is designed to do.”
Memorial Day, originally known as “Decoration Day,” from the custom of decorating graves with flowers, started simultaneously in both the North and South after the Civil War in 1866. An official proclamation was made May 30, 1868, and by the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day evolved to include the dead of all wars.
Over time, Memorial Day has come to symbolize a time to remember anyone who died, under any circumstances. The VFW’s website reminds that Memorial Day “should be regarded as a civic obligation. For this is a national debt that can only be truly repaid by individual Americans. By honoring the nation’s war dead, we preserve their memory and thus their service and sacrifice in the memories of future generations.”
A small reception will follow the Memorial Day Mass May 30, and Bishop Conley will bless a new altar and crucifix in the mausoleum at Calvary Cemetery. Relics of St. Charbel, for whom the mausoleum is named, will be placed on the altar.