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 — 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 crowd attending the first Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was approximately the same size as those that attend today’s Memorial Day observance, about 5,000 people. Then, as now, small American flags were placed on each grave — a tradition followed at many national cemeteries today. In recent years, the custom has grown in many families to decorate the graves of all departed loved ones.
The Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs will observe Memorial Day locally at all three of its State Veterans Cemeteries and all three of its Veterans Centers.
Kentucky Veterans Cemetery North East
Noon on Monday, May 28. Guest speaker will be Ret. Sgt. Major Bobby L. Reynolds, member of the Governor’s Advisory Board for Veterans Affairs. Invocation, Posting and Retiring of the Colors, and laying of Wreaths by American Legion Post 93. Refreshments by AMVETS Post 95. Olivia Black, violinist at Paul G. Blazer High School, will play the National Anthem.
100 Veterans Memorial Drive
Greenup County, Kentucky 41143
Kentucky Veterans Cemetery North
1 p.m. Monday, May 28. Guest speaker will be Rep. Royce Adams. Grant County Honor Guard will post the colors. Leannda Drysdale will sing the National Anthem. Maj. (Ret.) Dwayne Edwards will give the invocation/benediction. Ceremonial wreaths sponsored by the Grant County Deposit Bank of Williamstown. Refreshments provided by the Williamstown Women’s Club.
Williamstown, KY 41097
Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Central
2 p.m. Monday, May 28. Flag Placement will be on Saturday, May 26 at 10:00 am. LTC Terry Owens Health Services Branch Chief, Human Resources Command, Fort Knox, will be the guest speaker. Heartland Fillies, Patriotic singing group, will sing the national anthem and other songs. Chaplain Otto Ballou will give the invocation and benediction. Sponsored by VFW Post 10281.
2501 North Dixie Boulevard
Radcliff, KY 40160
Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West
11 a.m., Monday, May 28. VFW Post 1913 hosts the ceremony. Guest speaker will be Wesley “Tag” Mabry. VFW Post 1913 & American Legion Post 233 Ladies Auxiliary will place the Memorial Day wreaths. Johnny C. Brown will play “TAPS.” VFW Post 1913 will perform the U.S. Flag Retirement Ceremony. KVCW Director Richard Stanley will make the Year of Honors Remembrance. William Pouquette, VFW 1913 Chaplin, will give the closing prayer, and the Pennryfile Honor Guard will retire the colors. Following the service, VFW Post 1913 will provide lunch.
5817 Fort Campbell Boulevard
Hopkinsville, KY 42240
Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center, Hazard
May 28. Ceremony 2 p.m. at the Paul E. Patton Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center. Guest speaker will be Vietnam War Veteran SFC Pat Wooton. Ceremony will include a wreath dedication, patriotic singers, a 21-Gun Salute by the Hazard VFW, and a Candlelight Visual honoring EKVC Residents who have passed away since Memorial Day 2011. There will also be a slide show of EKVC residents in Multi-Purpose room followed by Refreshments.
200 Veterans Drive
Hazard, Kentucky 41701
Toll Free: 877-856-0004
Thomson-Hood Veterans Center, Wilmore
THVC’s Memorial Day Ceremony will begin at 10:30am in the Hunt Multi-Purpose Room. The guest speaker will be Trudy Hanke from the Wilmore United Methodist Church. We will have a final Roll Call for all residents that have passed away between May 2011 and May 2012.
100 Veterans Drive
Wilmore, KY 40390
Western Kentucky Veterans Center, Hanson
Friday, May 25th, at 10:00am: Annual Memorial Day program remembering our residents who have passed over the last year.
Friday, May 25th, 3:30pm: Annual May Gutter Banana Split social for residents, family and staff.
Monday, May 28th: Memorial Day Holiday family visits.
926 Veterans Dr
Hanson, KY 42413
May 28 Bellevue-Dayton Memorial Day Parade – 83rd Anniversary. Begins 10:30 a.m. in Dayton at the Veterans Monument and ends at the Bellevue Veterans Club. There is no required entry fee for parade participants. For more information, or to enter a unit in the parade, call Jim Lucas at 859-581-1782
May 18-19. All Veterans Reunion, Fairgrounds, American Legion Post 34, 725 West Broadway, Lawrenceburg. Camping available at Fairgrounds. Live entertainment Friday and Saturday. Welcome booth and vendors open noon on Friday, May 14. Candlelight service 8 p.m. Friday at Healing Field. Opening ceremony noon Saturday at the Healing Field.
For more information, call Mike Cartwright at 502-229-8454 or Kurt Weekly at 502-352-0125.
11:30 a.m. on Monday, May 28 in Cadet Park. This year’s ceremony will honor the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II and the combat death of Private Robert H. Brooks. Brooks lost his life during a Japanese aerial assault on the Philippines on December 8, 1941. He was the first Armored Forces soldier killed in World War II and the main parade field at Fort Knox is named in his honor. Private Brooks served with the 192nd Tank Battalion, Kentucky Army National Guard, Harrodsburg, Kentucky, a highly decorated combat unit that earned distinction with its valiant defense of the Philippines.
The 113th United States Army Band will play patriotic music throughout the ceremony that will feature a 21-round cannon salute, wreath-laying and Taps. Major General Jefforey A. Smith, Commanding General, United States Army Cadet Command will host the ceremony.
For More Information:
Ceremonies and Events
Ft Knox KY
The National Memorial Day Concert will be broadcast live on PBS from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Sunday, May 27, 2012 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET. Find out more at pbs.org/memorialdayconcert and www.facebook.commemorialdayconcert.
From Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs