Memorial Day - May 27, 2019

For April’s Passport to History Day, The Historic Easton Cemetery proudly hosted “A Journey to the Past”, a celebration of the history of photography and Easton’s early photographers. Thanks to Len Buscemi and Chris Karfakis for their excellent presentations on early Easton photography; and to Chris and Ed Eckstein for their insights on photographic composition and techniques during the walking tour.

Memorial Day is almost here. While the media’s attention usually focuses on the beautiful Arlington National Cemetery, we should not forget the many, many fallen service members who are buried or memorialized in their local cemeteries.

Following the end of the Civil War in 1865, a large-scale effort to honor the Union’s war dead was urged by a large organization of Union veterans named the Grand Army of the Republic, or GAR. In 1868, its work paid off; Decoration Day on May 30 became a tradition throughout the North. The formal name was changed to Memorial Day in 1971; at the same time, the scheduling of the day was changed to the last Monday in May.

In Easton Cemetery, there is a special area for veterans named the GAR Section; it is marked by a large Civil War-era artillery piece. The burials here are not limited to Civil War veterans specifically. Rather, the section reflects the honor earned by all military members in times of war and times of peace. Many more markers for veterans stand throughout the Cemetery, usually beside the markers of their family members. Every effort is made to place American flags at the veterans’ stones, regardless of where they are located.

We urge you to visit The Historic Easton Cemetery during the Memorial Day season and reflect on the service of all of our veterans - and particularly on the sacrifice of those who did not come marching home.

Rory Morgan