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Honor the fallen this Memorial Day

| May 1, 2023 1:06 AM

Several Memorial Day events and ceremonies will take place in Kootenai County throughout the May 29 holiday to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice serving their country.

Memorial Day was first established as Decoration Day by the head of the Grand Army of the Republic, a Union veteran organization, on May 5, 1868, three years after the end of the Civil War, as a time to decorate the gravesites of the war dead with flowers. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, it was Maj. Gen. John A. Logan who declared the holiday should be May 30, possibly because it is the time of year when flowers are in bloom across the country.

The first large observance was held that year across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Washington officials, including Gen. Ulysses S. Grant with wife Julia Dent Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the Grand Army of the Republic recited prayers and sang hymns as they placed flowers on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers.

Kootenai County Memorial Day events:

• 9 a.m. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 889 Memorial Day ceremony — McEuen Park, 420 E. Front St., Coeur d'Alene

• 9:30 a.m. Hayden Veterans Commission and U.S. Submarine Veterans Inc. wreath laying on Hayden Lake — Honeysuckle Beach, 2369 E. Honeysuckle Ave., Hayden

• 11 a.m. Marine Corps League Detachment 966 Memorial Day ceremony — Coeur d'Alene Memorial Gardens, 7315 N. Government Way, Coeur d'Alene

• 11 a.m. American Legion Post 143 Memorial Day ceremony — Evergreen Cemetery, 2834 N. Spokane St., Post Falls

• 11 a.m. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 889 Memorial Day ceremony — Forest Cemetery, 1001 N. Government Way, Coeur d'Alene

• 11 a.m. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3603 Memorial Day ceremony — Pleasant View Cemetery, 1298 S. Goldfinch Road, Post Falls

• 11 a.m. Hayden Veterans Commission Memorial Day ceremony — McIntire Family Park, 8930 N. Government Way, Hayden

• Noon: American Legion Post 154 and the city of Rathdrum Memorial Day ceremony — Pinegrove Cemetery, 6693 W. Highway 53, Rathdrum

• Noon: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1473 Memorial Day ceremony — Greenwood Cemetery, 400 10th Ave., Spirit Lake

Memorial Day event in Blanchard:

• 11 a.m. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1473 Memorial Day ceremony — Pine Grove Cemetery, 26590 Highway 41, Blanchard