MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – In honor of Memorial Day, Americans take the time to remember and recognize those who gave the ultimate sacrifice fighting for our country’s freedom.
“Back to the Civil War, there were 750,000 who died,” said Rev. Msgr. Michael Steber during his homily at Holy Cross Cemetery on Monday. “In World War I 116,516. In World War II, 405,399. The Korean War claimed 54,246. The Vietnam War 58, 209. And Afghan-Iraqi Wars 6,717 and counting.”
Dozens gathered at Holy Cross Cemetery on Monday morning for a ceremony and Mass to pay tribute to the many men and women have died serving our country.
First known as Decoration Day it was meant to decorate the graves of those who died in the Civil War. Eventually, it became Memorial Day and was recognized on May 30th. In the late 60’s Congress passed an act to make it the last Monday of May.
“Legally declared as a national holiday,” Rev. Msgr. Steber added in his homily. “The president would then lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery and Taps was played. Taps was first played during the Civil War in July 1862. It was a 22-year-old Union Army bugler who played that simply for a light sound call in the base. And then it began being played for military funerals. It’s just 24 notes but we know what a powerful impact it has when we hear that Taps played.”