To many Americans, Memorial Day has lost its meaning

On Monday, at 9 a.m., an Erie County American Legion Ceremony will be held and at 9:30 a.m. a new World War I exhibit will open with live music by 23 Skidoos.

The holiday - originally known as Decoration Day - actually started in 1868 as a way to honor Confederate and Union soldiers who died in the Civil War.

The group will return to the cemetery later this week to clean up the flags.

"I hope it will give them a sense of honor towards this because they are younger".

Nathan volunteered with his father earlier this week to help place American flags on 500 acres of land ahead of Saturday morning's annual Memorial Day service at the Jacksonville National Cemetery.

The total number of Americans killed in all wars, including the Civil War when almost 500,000 soldiers died, is more than 1.1 million.

Rishkofski will keep the fallen members of his unit in his mind when serving as parade grand marshal this Memorial Day.

"They were both killed on Christmas Day, 1944", he said. But I do know him, and thus I know all of them. Small American flags are placed 1 foot in from and centered before each grave marker: the toe of the combat boot placed against the center of a headstone, flag planted at the heel.

For those of my era, go to www.virtualwall.org/istate/istatwv.htm to find the names of West Virginians who died during the Vietnam War listed by their hometown.

Monday's first public ceremony will be conducted at 10 a.m.at Rosedale Cemetery, 840 Sixth Avenue South, in Payette, by members of Payette American Legion Post 33.

The next service will begin at 10:30 a.m.at Blacks Bridge, which is on Willow Creek Road.

I further ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

It seems over the years Memorial Day has come to represent the luxuries of western society, and the best sales since Presidents Day.

"We're just showing our respect to the people who died for us fighting in the wars", said Girl Scout Lauren Lehrfeld.

Roxbury residents will be able to learn more about that service after Monday's Memorial Day Parade when Kluska's story will be told at the Roxbury Veteran's Memorial in Horseshoe Lake Park.

Yelm Cemetery Memorial Day Observance, 1 p.m., Yelm, Wash. Less than half of 1 percent of the USA population serves in the military - the lowest number since World War II.

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