Memorial Day 2015

Memorial Day History

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May.

For more: http://www.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/history.asp

Memorial_Day

National Memorial Day Observances
Monday, May 25th – 3:00 pm Local Time

5/30/16 Memorial Day, Arlington
5/30/16 Memorial Day, Arlington

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1st Lt. John L. Dougherty’s gravesite The Netherlands Bert Caris and his group from the Netherlands tends to the graves of American Soliders at the Margraten Memorial Center. Please visit their website “Fallen Not Forgotten
1st Lt. John L. Dougherty’s gravesite, The Netherlands
Bert Caris and his group tend to the graves of American Soliders at the Margraten Memorial Center, The Netherlands. Visit their website “Fallen Not Forgotten “.

List of American military cemeteries, federal memorials, monuments and markers located in foreign countries

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26 thoughts on “Memorial Day 2015

  1. WH

    Monday, May 25, 2015

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    9:15 AM
    President Obama hosts a breakfast for Veteran and Military family service organizations, senior military leadership in honor of Memorial Day
    State Dining Room

    10:00 AM
    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks to the graduating class of 2015
    Tappan Square, Oberlin, Ohio

    11:00 AM
    National Memorial Day Observance
    President Obama lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
    Arlington National Cemetery

    11:20 AM
    President Obama delivers remarks at the Memorial Day Observance
    Arlington National Cemetery

    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  2. Memorial Day History

    Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

    The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

    The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.

    Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May.

    For more: http://www.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/history.asp

    • Weekly Address: Honoring Our Fallen Heroes this Memorial Day

      Remarks of President Barack Obama
      Weekly Address
      The White House
      May 23, 2015

      Hi, everybody. This weekend is Memorial Day—a time to pay tribute to all our men and women in uniform who’ve ever given their lives so that we can live in freedom and security. This year, the holiday is especially meaningful. It’s the first Memorial Day since our war ended in Afghanistan.

      On Monday, at Arlington Cemetery, I’ll join our Gold Star families, veterans, and their loved ones to remember all our fallen heroes, including the more than 2,200 American patriots who gave their lives in Afghanistan. And I plan to share a few of their stories.

      Growing up in Arizona, Wyatt Martin loved the outdoors. To him, a great day was a day spent fishing. After high school, he enlisted in the Army because he believed that the blessings he enjoyed as an American came with an obligation to give back to his country.

      Ramon Morris was born in Jamaica, and as a teenager came to Queens. Like so many proud immigrants, he felt a calling to serve his new country and joined the Army. He fell in love, got engaged, and the thing he wanted most was to make the world safer for his three-year-old daughter.

      In their lives, Specialist Wyatt Martin and Sergeant First Class Ramon Morris travelled different paths. But in December, their paths intersected as the final two Americans to give their lives during our combat mission in Afghanistan.

      This weekend also reminds us that, around the world, our men and women in uniform continue to serve and risk their lives. In Afghanistan, our troops now have a new mission—training and advising Afghan forces. John Dawson was one of them. From Massachusetts, he loved the Bruins and the Pats. In April, he gave his life as an Army combat medic—the first American to give his life in this new mission. This Memorial Day, we’ll honor Corporal Dawson as well.

      Like generations of heroes before them, these Americans gave everything they had—not for glory, not even for gratitude, but for something greater than themselves. We cannot bring them back. Nor can we ease the pain of their families and friends who live with their loss.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/05/23/weekly-address-honoring-our-fallen-heroes-memorial-day

    • At Dover Air Force Base, Bringing Home The Fallen With Grief And Joy

      MAY 24, 2015 9:02 AM ET Rachel Martin – NPR

      There is a grim kind of math that comes with war.

      Most of the troops who died during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were flown to Dover Air Force base in Delaware. And for most of the wars, those dignified transfers were off limits to the press. That changed in 2009, when President Obama lifted the media ban and paid a visit to Dover himself.

      From 2009 to the end of 2014, there were more than 2,400 dignified transfers at Dover. While the numbers are far smaller today, the planes are still flying troops home. The most recent: Petty Officer 3rd Class Devon J. Doyle, 21, of Colorado. The Pentagon says he died in Bahrain in a “non-combat related incident,” deployed as part of the U.S. fight against ISIS.

      This week on For the Record: Memorial Day, inside Dover.

      Dover looks like any other Air Force base, with a lot of nondescript buildings separated by wide, paved roads and rows of planes on the flight line. But the mission here is different, and so is the complex situated in one corner of the base. There’s a manicured garden with wooden benches; a meditation pavilion with a big fountain and a skylight.

      And here, most importantly, is the Center for the Families of the Fallen. Mirrors and framed landscapes decorate the walls. Overstuffed couches are arranged with coffee tables and chairs.

      This is where families gather and wait for the planes that are carrying their loved ones.

      Sgt. Sean Finley, chaplain assistant

      The toughest part of Finley’s job happens here. At the height of the wars, it was normal to have several families at a time. Many of those families included small children.

      “So in here is the children’s room,” Finley says, giving the tour. “The kids can come in here and color and play. But of course, the big highlight is the chalkboard wall.”

      The staff erases the board when it gets filled up with messages from the hundreds of kids who have passed through here.

      For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2015/05/24/408531645/at-dover-air-force-base-bringing-home-the-fallen-with-grief-and-joy

    • Americans gave their lives to defeat the Nazis. The Dutch have never forgotten.

      May 24, 2015 By Ian Shapira – washingtonpost

      MARGRATEN, Netherlands — They haven’t forgotten. For 70 years, the Dutch have come to a verdant U.S. cemetery outside this small village to care for the graves of Americans killed in World War II.

      On Sunday, they came again, bearing Memorial Day bouquets for men and women they never knew, but whose 8,300 headstones the people of the Netherlands have adopted as their own.

      For the American relatives of the fallen, it was an outpouring of gratitude almost as stunning as the rows of white marble crosses and Jewish Stars of David at the Netherlands American Cemetery. Each grave has been adopted by a Dutch or, in some cases, Belgian or German family, as well as local schools, companies and military organizations. More than 100 people are on a waiting list to become caretakers.

      At the cemetery’s annual commemoration, 6,000 people poured onto the 65-acre burial grounds just a few miles from the German border, including scores of descendants of American war dead who had traveled here from all over the United States. They were eager to pay tribute to parents or grandparents who had died to defeat the Nazis. But they also wanted to thank the Dutch families who had been tending the graves of their loved ones, often passing the responsibility from one generation to the next.

      For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/americans-gave-their-lives-to-defeat-the-nazis-the-dutch-have-never-forgotten/2015/05/24/92dddab4-fa79-11e4-9ef4-1bb7ce3b3fb7_story.html?hpid=z2

      • Thank you and all of our “honorary American brothers and sisters” who care for our Fallen Soliders’ graves outside of the USA.

        One of our “honorary American brothers and sisters” is Bert Caris (a supporter of Pres. Obama) and his group from the Netherlands that tend to the graves of American Soliders overseas. Please visit their website “Fallen Not Forgotten“.

    • May 25, 2015
      Remarks by the President on Memorial Day

      Arlington National Cemetery
      Arlington, Virginia

      11:32 A.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. Thank you, Secretary Carter, for your leadership of our men and women in uniform. General Dempsey; Major General Buchanan; Mr. Patrick Hallinan, Executive Director of Army National Military Cemeteries; Chaplain Studniewski; members of our armed services, veterans, and, most of all, families and friends of our fallen — it is my deep honor to share this day with you again.

      For 147 years, our nation has set aside this day to pay solemn tribute to patriots who gave their last full measure of devotion for this country that we love. And while the nature of war has changed over that time, the values that drive our brave men and women in uniform remain constant: Honor, courage, selflessness. Those values lived in the hearts of everyday heroes who risked everything for us in every American war — men and women who now rest forever in these quiet fields and across our land.

      They lived in the patriots who sparked a revolution, and who saved our union. They lived in the young GIs who defeated tyranny in Europe and the Pacific. And this year, we mark a historic anniversary — 70 years since our victory in World War II. More than 16 million Americans left everything they knew to fight for our freedom. More than 400,000 gave their lives. And today I ask all the family and friends of our fallen World War II heroes — spouses, children, brothers and sisters, and fellow veterans of World War II — to please stand if you can, or raise your hand, so that our country can thank you once more. (Applause.)

      These same values lived in those who braved the mountains of Korea, the jungles of Vietnam, the deserts of the Middle East. And in the past decade, we’ve seen these values on display again in the men and women of our 9/11 Generation.

      For many of us, this Memorial Day is especially meaningful; it is the first since our war in Afghanistan came to an end. Today is the first Memorial Day in 14 years that the United States is not engaged in a major ground war. So on this day, we honor the sacrifice of the thousands of American servicemembers — men and women — who gave their lives since 9/11, including more than 2,200 American patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/05/25/remarks-president-memorial-day

    • National Memorial Day Observance
      President Obama lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
      Arlington National Cemetery

      May 25, 2015

  3. First Lady Michelle Obama to Address 2015 Graduating Class
    oberlin.edu

    First Lady Michelle Obama will receive an honorary degree and speak at Oberlin College during the Commencement ceremony. Oberlin College is being recognized for supporting the First Lady’s higher education initiative, Reach Higher, and doing its part to answer President Obama’s call to ensure that by the year 2020, America once again has the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

    For more: https://new.oberlin.edu/events-activities/commencement/students.dot

    • “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution”

      Commencement Address for Oberlin College, Oberlin Ohio

      June 25, 1965 By Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

      “[Oberlin College] President Carr, members of the faculty, and members of the graduating class of this great institution of learning, ladies and gentlemen:

      I can never come to this campus without a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude for all that this great institution has done for the cultural, political, and social life of our nation and the world. By all standards of measurement, Oberlin is one of the great colleges, not only of our nation, but of the world. I am also deeply honored to share the platform today with so many distinguished citizens of our nation – particularly our great secretary of state who, through dedicated and brilliant service, has carved for himself a niche in the annals of our nation’s history.

      Now to the members of the graduating class: today you bid farewell to the safe security of the academic environment. You prepare to continue your journey on the clamorous highways of life. And I would like to have you think with me on this significant occasion on the subject, “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution”.

      For more: http://www.oberlin.edu/external/EOG/BlackHistoryMonth/MLK/CommAddress.html

    • May 25, 2015

      REMARKS BY THE FIRST LADY AT OBERLIN COLLEGE COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS

      Tappan Square Field

      Oberlin, Ohio

      11:05 A.M. EDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Hi! (Laughter and applause.) How are you all doing? (Applause.) Are you sure? (Applause.) Well, let me just tell you, it is beyond a pleasure and an honor to be here with all of you today.

      I want to start by thanking President Krislov for that very kind introduction, as well as all of the trustees, the faculty, the staff here at Oberlin. I also want to tell you how proud and how moved I am to receive this honorary degree from this particular school — the first college in America to officially embrace the admission of black students, and the first co-ed school to grant bachelor’s degrees to women. (Applause.)

      I should be here today. Oberlin is likely the only college in America that I could have attended nearly two centuries ago, and I am honored to be part of the extraordinary legacy of this great institution. (Applause.)

      I also want to take a moment on this Memorial Day to pay tribute to all of the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives so that we could sit here today, at peace, with rights and freedoms that others around the world can only dream of. I am so proud to honor these American heroes today –- and every day –- for their extraordinary service to our nation. (Applause.)

      And I’m also a little giddy to be joined on stage by another one of my heroes, Marian Wright Edelman. (Applause.) Her moral leadership on behalf of children in this country has inspired me throughout my career, as well as my husband, the President of the United States. (Applause.)

      And, graduates, I think we should give another shout-out to your families, of course, all the families. (Applause.) These are the folks who pushed you and supported you. They answered your late-night phone calls even when you were just calling for money. (Laughter.) So on behalf of your students, I just want to show you all some love today, as well. Thank you for creating these fabulous individuals. Well done. (Applause.)

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/05/25/remarks-first-lady-oberlin-college-commencement-address

  4. May 23, 1865

    Army of the Potomac celebrated the end of the American Civil War

    The American Civil War, widely known in the United States as simply the Civil War as well as other sectional names, was a civil war fought from 1861 to 1865 to determine the survival of the Union or independence for the Confederacy. Among the 34 states in January 1861, seven Southern slave states individually declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America. The Confederacy, often simply called the South, grew to include eleven states, and although they claimed thirteen states and additional western territories, the Confederacy was never diplomatically recognized by a foreign country. The states that remained loyal and did not declare secession were known as the Union or the North. The war had its origin in the fractious issue of slavery, especially the extension of slavery into the western territories. After four years of combat, which left over 600,000 Union and Confederate soldiers dead and destroyed much of the South’s infrastructure, the Confederacy collapsed and slavery was abolished. Then began the Reconstruction and the processes of restoring national unity and guaranteeing civil rights to the freed slaves.

    For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Civil_War

    • 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment

      Active: March 13, 1863 to August 4, 1865

      The 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was an infantry regiment that saw extensive service in the Union Army during the American Civil War. The regiment was one of the first official African-American units in the United States during the Civil War. The 1st South Carolina Volunteers, recruited from freed slaves, was the first Union Army regiment organized with African-American soldiers in the Civil War, though many African-Americans had fought in the American Revolution and the War of 1812 on both sides.

      For more; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/54th_Massachusetts_Infantry_Regiment

  5. May 25, 2015

    Readout of Vice President Biden’s Call with Prime Minister Al-Abadi of Iraq

    Vice President Biden spoke with Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi today to reaffirm U.S. support for the Iraqi government’s fight against ISIL. The Vice President recognized the enormous sacrifice and bravery of Iraqi forces over the past eighteen months in Ramadi and elsewhere. The Vice President welcomed the Council of Minister’s unanimous decision on May 19th to mobilize additional troops, honor those who have fallen, and prepare for counter-attack operations. The Vice President pledged full U.S. support in these and other Iraqi efforts to liberate territory from ISIL, including the expedited provision of U.S. training and equipment to address the threat posed by ISIL’s use of truck bombs.

  6. WH

    Tuesday, May 26, 2015

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg
    Oval Office

    12:00 PM
    12:30 PM
    White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest briefs the press

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    President Obama meets with Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell
    Oval Office

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  7. May 26, 2015

    President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg at the White House; the Vice President will also attend. The leaders will discuss the impact of Russia’s actions on the European security environment, NATO’s evolving effort to meet challenges from the south, and the alliance’s ongoing Resolute Support Mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Security Forces. They will also assess allied progress on the defense investment targets agreed at Wales, and share their priorities for the next NATO Summit in 2016.

    • May 26, 2015

      Remarks by President Obama and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after Bilateral Meeting

      Oval Office

      11:47 A.M. EDT

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: It is a great pleasure to welcome my friend, former Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, back to the Oval Office. The last time he was here he came as a Prime Minister. He’s now the Secretary General of NATO. And we’ve had an excellent discussion.

      Before I mention some of the topics that we discussed on NATO, let me just say a couple of things. First of all, I had a chance this morning to talk to Governor Abbott of Texas to express condolences for the terrible flooding that’s been taking place there. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and the communities that have been affected by some of these devastating, record-breaking floods.

      I assured Governor Abbott that he could count on the help of the federal government. We have FEMA personnel already on the ground. They are coordinating with Texas Emergency Management authorities, and I will anticipate that there will be some significant requests made to Washington. My pledge to him is that we will expedite those requests to make sure that both search-and-rescue operations where necessary, but also recovery operations occur as efficiently and as quickly as possible.

      The second thing I want to just mention very quickly — last week, Congress obviously was busy. It left town without finishing necessary work on FISA and some of the reforms that are necessary to the Patriot Act.

      I said over a year ago that it was important for us to properly balance our needs for security with civil liberties. And this administration engaged on a bipartisan, bicameral basis, talking to Republicans and Democrats about how we could preserve necessary authorities but provide the public greater assurance that those authorities were not being abused.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/05/26/remarks-president-obama-and-nato-secretary-general-jens-stoltenberg-afte

  8. Orders for Capital Equipment in U.S. Climb for Second Month

    5:30 AM PDT May 26, 2015 bloomberg

    Orders for capital equipment rose in April for a second straight month, a sign U.S. business investment could pick up in the second half of the year.

    Bookings for non-military capital goods excluding aircraft, a proxy for future corporate spending on new equipment, advanced 1 percent after a 1.5 percent gain in March that was larger than previously estimated, data from the Commerce Department showed Tuesday in Washington. Total durable goods demand declined 0.5 percent, as forecast.

    Oil and mining companies are counting on a reprieve as crude prices rebound from the rout that pummeled business activity, while the strong dollar continues to undermine exports of American-made goods to overseas markets. Domestic demand should keep factories churning out goods such as cars, as the labor market proves hardy.

    “Without question, this is an extremely strong report, if you think about how the year started,” said Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets LLC in New York. “You’re looking at a pretty nice profile for growth.”

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-26/orders-for-capital-equipment-in-u-s-climb-for-second-month

  9. Business optimism and robust growth fuel upturn in hiring in US

    May 26th, 2015 Chris Williamson | Chief Economist, Markit

    Robust growth of service sector activity provides further encouraging news that the US economy is reviving from the weakness seen earlier in the year.

    The flash Markit Services PMI™ registered 56.4 in May, well above the 50.0 no-change level. When looked at alongside the sister manufacturing PMI, which also signalled further expansion in May, the surveys suggest the US economy is on course to enjoy solid annualised growth of approximately 3.0% in the second quarter.

    For more: http://www.markit.com/Commentary/Get/26052015-Economics-Business-optimism-and-robust-growth-fuel-upturn-in-hiring-in-US

  10. Confidence edges up in May on improving job market

    5/26/15 By PAUL WISEMAN – AP

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer confidence rebounded slightly this month as the job market showed signs of improvement.

    The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose to 95.4 in May from 94.3 in April. Last month’s reading had been sharp drop from March’s 101.4. A year ago, the index stood at 82.2.

    Consumers’ assessment of current economic conditions improved, but their outlook for the next six months slipped. Their expectations for the job market improved, however. Consumers were more likely this month to say they planned to buy a car, home or major appliance within the next six months.

    Employers added a healthy 223,000 jobs last month, up from a lackluster 85,000 in March. And the unemployment rate slid to 5.4 percent, lowest since May 2008, six months into the Great Recession.

    Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, called the May improvement in confidence “a pleasant surprise given that other measures of confidence had weakened in response to the recent surge in gasoline prices.” The University of Michigan’s preliminary reading on May consumer sentiment, released May 15, dropped sharply. The university will issue a revised May number Friday.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/consumer-confidence-rises-slightly-may-141440322–finance.html;_ylt=AwrXgiKQhmRVJ1sAyA3QtDMD;_ylu=X3oDMTByM3V1YTVuBGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMzBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–

  11. Obama suffers another defeat on immigration in federal court

    5/26/15 By Jordan Fabian – TheHill

    A federal appeals court dealt the Obama administration a defeat on Tuesday when it declined to lift a judge’s order blocking the president’s sweeping executive action on immigration.

    The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with a Texas judge who issued an injunction preventing the programs from going into effect.

    The order came after a group of 26 states filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of Obama’s immigration initiatives, which could protect millions of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally from deportation.

    The appeals judges ruled two-to-one that the order must stay in place.

    “Because the government is unlikely to succeed on the merits of its appeal of the injunction, we deny the motion for stay and the request to narrow the scope of the injunction,” they wrote.

    • Court sets July hearing on Obama’s immigration actions

      5/28/15 12:49 PM EDT By Jordan Fabian – TheHill

      A federal appeals court said Wednesday it has set a date to hear an expedited appeal of a lower court order that put President Obama’s deportation relief programs on hold.

      The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on July 10 in New Orleans in the Obama administration’s attempt to lift a preliminary injunction from U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Texas, which blocked several executive actions from taking effect.

      It’s not clear if the same judges who denied the administration’s stay request will hear the broader appeal.

      The court’s clerk said the judges will be announced one week before the hearing.

      The hearing will present a major test for the administration, which is seeking to end the legal limbo surrounding its immigration programs.

      For more; http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/243324-court-sets-july-hearing-on-obamas-immigration-actions

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