Local activities on Memorial Day

As Eileen Bishop, left, and grandson Michael Bishop place flags on veterans’ graves in the Custer County Cemetery, they come across a special surprise grave already decorated for Memorial Day. The grave is that of Henry Hogan, who passed away as a sergeant in the Fifth Infantry. The surprising thing about Hogan’s grave and the reason for the extra decorations is that he is one of only eight soldiers to have received two Medals of Honor. (Star photo by Steve Allison)

In Montana and around the United States, Memorial Day will be observed Monday, May 26.

Originally known as Decoration Day, the day began as a time to honor Union soldiers who had given their lives in the Civil War. After World War I, it became a day to honor the men and women who died in any military action or war.

Following World War II, the name was changed to Memorial Day and it was observed on May 30, no matter on what day of the week it fell.

In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed and took effect in 1971. Since then, Memorial Day has been officially observed on the last Monday in May, although some states took a while to recognize this change.

On Monday, May 26, in observance of Memorial Day, members of the American Legion Custer Post No. 5 will be raising the large flags at the Eastern Montana State Veterans Cemetery at 8 a.m. The flags will fly over the cemetery throughout the day. Post members will take the flags down at 5 p.m. Anyone who would like to assist with the raising or lowering of these flags or just wants to watch the ceremony should come to the cemetery at those times. 

Earlier this week, members of the American Legion Custer Post No. 5 and the Washington Middle School Builders Club placed flags on veterans graves at the Custer County Cemetery and post members and volunteers also set out flags on the graves of veterans at the Eastern Montana State Veterans Cemetery. These flags will remain in place through Memorial Day.

Also on Memorial Day, May 26, the annual Knowlton, Cottonwood and Ismay cemetery cleanup will begin at 10 a.m. A potluck luncheon and program will follow at noon in George Park.

A Memorial Day program is planned in Miles City on Monday starting at 11 a.m. in the American Legion Hall/ROCKS Building across from the Miles City Swimming Pool. Following the program, sandwiches and other refreshments will be served. The program and lunch are open to the public.