30 May 2017
Yesterday was Memorial Day.
The usual story about it’s origin is that the holiday was started by Union General John Logan. Logan was commander-in-chief of a Union veterans’ organization called the Grand Army of the Republic. Logan issued a decree establishing what was then called “Decoration Day” on May 5, 1868. The day was “designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.”
John Logan is a well-known Chicago figure. He has a boulevard and a neighborhood named after him; as well as a statue in Grant Park.
Another important Chicago landmark related to the Civil War is Rosehill Cemetery. Dedicated in 1864, the cemetery is the final resting place to over 350 Civil War veterans. Yesterday, as with all Memorial Days at Rosehill, was a day of honoring our soldiers from all wars. There are speeches, a parade, and a 21-gun salute. One of the most moving events in the program encourages attendees to plant flags at the graves of the soldiers.
Our own Bjorn Skaptason shared this from yesterday’s program:
The Civil War lives in every corner of Chicago, In many ways, all of us who work here are always working. Bjorn’s text from yesterday, shows that.
We all wish you and all your loved ones a joyous summer. While you’re having fun, please remember the soldiers and sailors that gave their lives for you.