Three years after the Civil War ended Maj. Gen. John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic declared May 30 as Decoration Day, a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with "the choicest flowers of springtime."
One hundred and forty-three years later, the Turlock community will gather on Monday to celebrate what is now known as Memorial Day and honor those who died in all American wars.
Turlock Mayor John Lazar will join State Senator Anthony Cannella at the American Legion Post 88/ Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Day Ceremony at 10 a.m. on Monday at Turlock Memorial Park, 425 North Soderquist Rd.
"It's an honor to put on the program to pay tribute to our fallen soldiers," said American Legion Post 88 Commander Bob Russell.
The master of ceremonies for the community-wide celebration will be Rear Admiral Michael Seward of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Also expected to speak at the annual event are Pete Hoex of the American Legion, John Elliot of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Rosemary Lindsey of the Disabled American Veterans.
In preparation for the celebration, Turlock Boy Scout Troop 21 will be placing over 3,000 small American flags on the graves of local veterans today. They will also assist staff of Turlock Memorial Park in hanging 650 large flags on the Avenue of Flags at the cemetery. The troop will then head downtown to decorate Main Street with the Stars and Stripes.
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