Memorial Day: In Honor of Our Dead, The Procession, Decorating the Graves, Addresses

From the Ohio Press, June 5, 1885:

Saturday morning dawned clear and bright and all nature was refreshed and beautiful after the recent showers. Business houses were nearly all closed and the day was generally observed. Bunting was unfurled at half-mast and many strangers were in the city.

The G.A.R. assembled promptly at 1 o’clock at the court house and the procession was soon formed under command of Dr. John Pearce, post commander, in the following order: Seibert’s Band, members of the Stanton Post, flower wagon, carriage with orator and chaplain, carriages with Ladies Aid Society, citizens in carriages and on foot.

Upon arriving at the city of the dead the G.A.R. Post, with garlands and baskets of flowers, accompanied by the band playing a dirge, proceeded to each grave and placed thereon their floral offering while a detachment performed the same memorial ceremony at the old Catholic Cemetery and at Mt. Calvary. After this labor of love they assembled at the speakers stand on Beech point where a large audience had already assembled. The services were opened by the choir who beautifully rendered the national hymn “America” after which an appropriate prayer was offered by Reverend Randolph. The choir then sang the pathetic hymn, “Nearer my God to Thee,” after which Rev. Brown made an eloquent address, speaking of the solemn day, the heroic deeds of the dead, our prosperity, peace and glorious country, and the duty that devolves upon the living and the sacred trust imposed upon us in caring for the loved ones of those who had laid their lives upon the altar of sacrifice for their country. After the address and music by the choir the procession reformed and returned to the city, closing the solemn and sacred duties of Memorial Day for 1885.

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