A Memorial Day program to remember and honor all military members who have served or are currently serving our Nation will be held at the Fort Sill National Cemetery, 2648 NE Jake Dunn Road in Elgin.

The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 27th with keynote speaker LTC (R) Jerry Orr of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #751.

For more information please contact William E. Rhoades, Cemetery Director at 918-478-2334.

A History of Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (May 27 in 2013). Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. soldiers who died while in the military service.  First enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American Civil War, it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.

The preferred name for the holiday gradually changed from "Decoration Day" to "Memorial Day", which was first used in 1882. It did not become more common until after World War II, and was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967. On June 28, 1968, the Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved three holidays from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order 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 took effect at the federal level in 1971.

Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time. Another tradition is to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff from dawn until noon local time.