It’s been 150 years since Gen. John Logan, then commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic issued an order naming May 30, as a day “for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country.”
He signed the order for a Memorial Day “with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year.”
And, so it has.
Across Wyoming County, like much of the U.S., communities and veterans groups will take time out with solemn services and/or parades to remember those who have gone before.
But the day will be more than just a remembrance.
In parts of the county, it will also be a day to celebrate the best of small-town America with chicken barbecues and Little League baseball.
Here’s a schedule of some of the things in store for May 30:
Sponsored by the Dennis Strong American Legion Post 457, the annual parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the Tunkhannock Area High School access road.
Marchers will continue east on Tioga Street to Pine Street.
This year to alleviate some of the congestion that has typically ended up at the courthouse, organizers area asking that all youth baseball-youth softball-Little League teams not to turn left onto Pine, but rather continue east on Tioga Street to the Little League fields, where parents are being asked to pick up their children.
Parade units other than youth sports groups are to turn left onto Pine and continue to Second and Church streets, ending at the Wyoming County Courthouse for a Memorial Day service.
In addition to appropriate music from the Tunkhannock Area School District, there will be a wreath laying and Wyoming County Commissioner Tom Henry will deliver the memorial address.
Lineup for the parade will be at the Tunkhannock Area Middle School auditorium parking area behind Curry Donuts.
Participating units should be there before 9:30 a.m. Little League teams will assemble at the paved parking lot behind the Tunkhannock Area School District Administration Building on Philadelphia Avenue, then be moved to their respective parade positions.
Marchers should simply come to the staging area on Memorial Day. They are urged not to call Triton Hose Co., Tunkhannock Borough Police or the Wyoming County Communications Center for parade information.
All participants should prominently display the American flag and will not be allowed to throw candy, gum or other items for safety reasons.
Tunkhannock Baseball Association has planned a full schedule of events for the entire day.
A chicken barbecue will begin at 11 a.m. at Art Keefer Field on Sunnyside Road. A Memorial Day program with player and coach introductions will be held at noon.
A full slate of ball games will follow.
The Factoryville Memorial Day Parade, sponsored by Olin Wheelock American Legion post will start at 10 a.m. from Lackawanna Trail Elementary Center and end at Evergreen Woodlawn Cemetery. Speaker is Airman First Class Mark Gowarty. Parade participants are to assemble at the school starting at 9:30 a.m.
The Nicholson Memorial Day Parade will begin at 11 a.m. at the Nicholson Tourism Center (the D.L. & W. Station). The parade will head down onto Main Street, turning onto State Street where there will be a quick stop at the military monuments to place wreaths. Parade will then proceed on to the Nicholson Cemetery. Guest speaker is Wyoming County Veterans Affairs head Jack Hubert.
Rought-Hall American Legion Post 510 will host a Memorial Day service at 10:55 a.m. on the Legion grounds on Rt. 6, Black Walnut, at 10:55 a.m. TV personality Mike Stevens is the featured speaker. Norm Werkheiser of Tunkhannock is to be honored with Don James Award.
The Falls Lions Club will hold a Memorial Day Ceremony at noon at Hock Park, Exeter Twp., near the post office. Invocation by Pastor Gay Irwin, and Colors by the 109th Pa. National Guard.
Our Lady of the Abingtons, Dalton, will have a Mass for Peace at 8:30 a.m. All are invited.
Dalton Memorial Day Parade starts at 9 a.m. from Streamside Park and ends at the fire hall, where Memorial Day services honoring veterans, will be at about 9:20 a.m. (rain or shine). Info: John at 570-563-1268.