05/27/07 — Memorial Day service Monday at Wayne Community College

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Memorial Day service Monday at Wayne Community College

By staff
Published in News on May 27, 2007 2:00 AM

From staff reports

The Wayne County Veterans Coalition will sponsor a Memorial Day Service Monday at 11 a.m. in the auditorium at Wayne Community College.

The service will feature a speech by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michelle Barefield of Goldsboro, who earned a Bronze Star while serving in Iraq, and music by The Malpass Family gospel music group.

Memorial Day was first officially proclaimed in May 1868 by Gen. John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic and was first observed on May 30 of that year, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states.

The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I, when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war.

It is now celebrated in almost every state on the last Monday in May, according to a law approved by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971.