Memorial Day – Monday May 25th
Decoration Day was established by the Grand Army of the Republic on May 5th, 1868. It served as an annual time for soldiers to remember their fallen comrades and decorate their graves with flowers. It became officially known as Memorial Day in the late 1880’s. It has been a long-standing tradition that the towns people of Chatham commemorate their veterans on this day. In the early days they would assemble at Academy Hall and march to the cemetery where they would decorate the graves of soldiers with fresh cut flowers that had been gathered from numerous local farms and households. Afterwards, they would gather at the Soldiers Monument to read the roll call of deceased soldiers of Chatham. The observance included a military salute to those who gave their lives for our nation. The Soldiers Monument was completed on June 20th, 1866 and dedicated on the 4th of July, 1866.
While present conditions will not allow our traditional Ceremony and march to the cemetery, we will continue to honor our Veterans by decorating their gravesites with a flag and geranium flower. We will also place flowers at the Soldiers Monument across from the General Store, and the Veterans Memorial in the cemetery.
The Coronavirus has impacted our lives, creating daily strife and struggles at many levels. It has been said we are at war, and we are all warriors. As we fight this battle together, please take a moment of your time to consider the sacrifices made by our Veterans. Try to imagine the daily strife and struggles they endured in their efforts to preserve the rights and liberties of our nation and so many others. Reflect on their lives, their families. The trauma and injuries they suffered. Remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, never returning home.
The American Flag is often referred to as “Old Glory” by veterans. The sight of our flag gave them hope and strength. It was also a symbol and warning to our enemies that we will not quit. Please proudly display your flag on this day of remembrance.
May God Bless America