Memorial Day commemorations take place in Rapid City at Black Hills National Cemetery | Local


Journal staff

The Black Hills War Memorial Association will hold a special ceremony Monday morning in Rapid City, and Black Hills National Cemetery will also host two memorial events Monday.

Black Hills War Memorial Association president Ed Manzano said his group’s ceremony will take place Monday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial in Memorial Park. He said the Rapid City American Legion Post 22 honor guard will display the colors of the military flag, perform a rifle volley salute and play “Taps.” Manzano said a special speaker and guests will include family members of local World War II heroes.

The Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis will hold two ceremonies on Monday, one at 11 a.m. and the other at 1 p.m. The 11 a.m. ceremony is sponsored by South Dakota Veterans of Foreign Wars, with VFW National Senior Vice Commander Timothy Borland as the keynote speaker.

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The 1 p.m. ceremony is sponsored by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Black Hills National Cemetery superintendent Terry Corkins said the ceremonies would take place in the area of ​​the incarceration shelter and flag pole. Parking will be directed by cemetery staff.

Corkins said it would be the first public Memorial Day service at the cemetery since 2019.

According to information from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Memorial Day was formerly known as Decoration Day. It commemorates American military personnel who have died on active duty. First adopted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers after the American Civil War, it was expanded after World War I to honor Americans who died in all wars.

The holiday’s preferred name gradually changed from “Decoration Day” to “Memorial Day”, which was first used in 1882. It only became more common after World War II and was only declared an official name by federal law only in 1967.

Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, June 28, 1968, which moved three holidays from their traditional dates to a specified Monday to create a convenient three-day weekend. The holidays included Washington’s Birthday, Veterans Day, and Memorial Day. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. The law went into effect at the federal level in 1971.

Many Americans celebrate Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. A National Moment of Remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time on the holiday. Many people also observe the tradition of flying the flag of the United States at half mast from dawn until noon local time.

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