Honoring the Fallen this Memorial Day
May 25, 2020
Each year on Memorial Day, Americans pause to remember the
military fallen and honor their sacrifice during military service or through
enemy contact. While the ways in which we pay tribute this 2020 Memorial Day
may look a little different than years past, the sincere sentiment of the
federal holiday remains.
Here are a few facts you may not know about this special day …
Day dates back to 1868, when Union Army General John A. Logan placed wreaths on
the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers and issued a proclamation calling for a
day of national observance for their sacrifice. For the next century, every May
30th would be known as Decoration day.
- It wasn’t until 1971 that the last Monday in May was declared as a
federal holiday to honor the American soldiers who died serving in the Armed
Forces in all wars. From this point forward, it was called Memorial Day.
- More than 20 towns claim to be the holiday’s
“birthplace” – but only one has federal recognition: Waterloo, New York.
- Wearing a red poppy on Memorial Day began
with a World War I poem, “In Flanders Field,” which then inspired a later poem,
“We Shall Keep the Faith.” The poppy remains a symbol of remembrance for this
we honor those who served in prior wars, we would like to acknowledge a few of
our own graduates, who had a significant military role, as well as other Peru
State College involvement.
- Peru State College was founded in 1867 and was led for many years
by Union Army soldiers, including Major Tom Daily and Colonel T.J. Majors.
Since then, our students, faculty and alumni have continued to serve in
our nation’s conflicts.
- Nebraska’s only WWI flying ace, Orville Ralston, was a Peru State
- Peru State College is known as the “Campus of a Thousand Oaks,”
because of the thousand memorial plantings done after World War I to honor
the soldiers that died during the conflict.
- W.N. Delzell Hall, a men’s dormitory on Peru State’s physical
Nebraska campus, is nicknamed “the ship,” because during World War II it
hosted Navy cadets in the V-12 program. Other programs on campus hosted Army
cadets and a flight school during those years.
- In 2017, the President named Randy Reeves the Under
Secretary of Veteran Affairs for Memorial Affairs. Reeves is a graduate of
Peru State’s Master of Science in Occupational Management program.
Depending on where you are in the United
States, traditional Memorial Day recognitions like parades, town gatherings,
paying respects at cemeteries, and visits to veterans’ facilities, etc., may or
may not be happening or allowed. So, be sure to check with your local news
sources on the subject. However, here are two formal rituals everyone can still
be part of …
The American flag should be hung at
half-staff until noon on Memorial Day, then raised to the top of the staff.
Since 2000, when the U.S. Congress passed
legislation, all Americans are encouraged to pause for a National Moment of
Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time.
And you can extend warm wishes and support
to family and friends of military service members who have paid the ultimate
All of us at Peru
State College Online wish you a safe, peaceful Memorial Day and weekend. While
we will be closed Monday in observance of the day, we look forward to serving
you when we reopen on Tuesday at 8 a.m. CT.