Carson Valley residents observe Memorial Day

Posse members Guy Sapp and Christine Blackburn place flags in Eastside Memorial Park in Minden on Friday morning.

Posse members Guy Sapp and Christine Blackburn place flags in Eastside Memorial Park in Minden on Friday morning.
Photo by Kurt Hildebrand.

Members of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse will be observing Memorial Day at the junction of Highway 88 and 395 on Monday.

Posse member Guy Sapp said the group will be at the entrance to Minden between 10 a.m. and noon for the day set aside to remember the day to honor America’s war dead.

“We are honored to be here today,” Posse member Guy Sapp said as he placed flags at Eastside Memorial Park on Friday.

He and Christine Blackburn were among dozens of volunteers decorating the graves of veterans in the Minden cemetery.

Members of the Tahoe-Douglas Elks and the Posse were among those participating.

The holiday started out as a day to decorate the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers in the years following that conflict.

According to an article on the Veterans Administration website, the first large observance of what was then referred to as Decoration Day was held in 1868 in Arlington Nation Cemetery and was attended by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, who presided over the ceremonies.

While several local observances predated the big event, the official birthplace was designated as Waterloo, N.Y. by President Lyndon Johnson in 1966, the centennial of that celebration.

Decoration Day was renamed Memorial Day and the last Monday of May declared a national holiday by Congress in 1971, according to the Veterans Administration.

“We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance,” Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared in 1868. “Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, not ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”

A leader of one of the first democracies offered tribute to those lost in conflict.

“Not only are they commemorated by columns and inscriptions, but there dwells also an unwritten memorial of them, graven not on stone, but in the hears of men,” Athenian leader Pericles said of the city-state’s Peloponnesian War dead.


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