Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day started three years after the Civil War ended, in 1868. The date was intended to serve as a time Americans could decorate the graves of fallen Civil War soldieres with flowers. It is thought that Union Maj. Gen. John A. Logan chose the May date because flowers would be in bloom throughout the country.
The first documented large observance was at Arlington National Cemetery. Gen. James Garfield made a speech to the 5,000 in attendance who then decorated the graves of the 20,000 Confederate and Union soldiers buried there. In 1971, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act and established that Memorial Day was to be celebrated on the last Monday of May.
“We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.”
- James A. Garfield
May 30, 1868 Arlington National Cemetery
Below is a list of soldiers from Covington who have made the ultimate sacrifice for us.