Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. Its early beginnings took place about 150 years ago, very likely in the village of Waterloo on the Underground Railway in upstate New York. The graves of fallen Civil War veterans were “decorated” with bright flowers on May 30, as a tribute to their bravery and sacrifice. This particular day was chosen in part because it was in the spring, but mostly because it was not the date of any famous battle. Instead, it was a day set aside to honor every one of the war dead; Memorial Day is now officially observed on the last Monday of May.
Here in South Boston, you will see volunteers and members of the Thomas J. Fitzgerald VFW Post No. 561 placing new, beribboned wreaths in our “Hero Squares.” These ”Hero Squares” have a gold star by the heroes’ names, meaning that they died in combat – the ultimate sacrifice. The post members and volunteers will also adorn the graves of South Boston’s veterans who died in combat with American flags. This respectful, loving task will be completed over the next two weeks, so that we can all better remember our heroes on Memorial Day, 2016.
The Fitzy Post will hold a solemn procession from its quarters at 517 East Fourth St., on Sunday morning, May 29. The procession will end at the Vietnam Memorial in Medal of Honor (M Street) Park; salutes and remembrances will be rendered. A collation and a lunch will be served at the post before and after its Memorial Day observances. Details to follow. Please plan to join.