Contact Information 

Meadville District Office
900-920 Water Street
Downtown Mall
Meadville, PA  16335
Phone (814) 336-1136
Hours 8 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. (M-F)

Fairview Office (Mondays Only)
Fairview Township Building
7471 McCray Rd., Fairview, PA
Hours 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Monday)
1-800-770-2377

Cranesville Office (Thursdays Only)
Cranesville Borough Office
10195 John Williams Ave.
Cranesville, PA 16410
Phone: 1-800-770-2377
Hours 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Thursday)

Capitol Office
Hon. Brad Roae
162B East Wing
Harrisburg PA 17120-2006
Phone: (717) 787-2353
Fax: 717-782-2902

E-mail:
  broae@pahousegop.com

Q & A - The Meaning of Memorial Day
5/23/2013

QUESTION:  Memorial Day is coming up soon.  Can you explain how this holiday began?

ANSWER:  What we now observe as Memorial Day originally began as Decoration Day shortly after the end of the Civil War.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans known as the Grand Army of the Republican established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of Civil War soldiers with flowers.

The first large observance of Decoration Day took place at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.  Flowers were placed on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers.

In 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y., the birthplace of Memorial Day.  A ceremony was held there on May 5, 1866, to honor local veterans who fought in the Civil War.

By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held across the nation on May 30.  Some believe the date was picked because flowers would be in bloom and could be placed on the gravesites of veterans.

State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day and the Army and Navy – there was no Air Force at the time – adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.

Following World War I, the holiday was expanded to honor soldiers who had died in all American wars.

In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday through an act of Congress.  It is celebrated on the last Monday in May.

This Memorial Day, as you spend time with friends and family and perhaps enjoy a barbecue or other outdoor activity, please take a moment to reflect on the men and women who have sacrificed their lives to defend our nation.

While Veterans Day commemorates all who have served, Memorial Day is specifically set aside as a day to remember those who lost their lives in service to their country.

While war is a horrific activity, those who serve also commit acts of unfathomable love.  In the Bible, John 15:13 says, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  Our fallen heroes have laid down their lives for their friends, families and country.  May we never forget that sacrifice.
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