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On the Banks of Yesteryear...Memorial Day PDF Print E-mail
Friday, May 09, 2014 8:00 PM

Delphos and the nation will celebrate Memorial Day this year on May 26. This is a day set aside to honor all those who have died serving our country. The celebration of Memorial Day goes all the way back to the Civil War (1861-1865), when women in the south were already placing flowers on the graves of Confederate soldiers who had died in that war before the war had ended.

April 1866 marked the founding of The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) as a fraternal organization of men who had served the Union during the Civil War. The GAR went on to become a major player in getting benefits for veterans and the widows and children of the veterans who had died in the Civil War. In 1868, the GAR called on all to honor those who had died in the Civil War by setting aside the 30th day of May as a day of remembering. Originally called Decoration Day, this was the day set aside to “decorate” the graves of the fallen with flowers. After WWI, all veterans who had died in any war were honored. The official name change to Memorial Day came about in 1967 and in 1971 the date was changed to the last Monday in May in order to give workers a three-day holiday. There is a push to move the date back to May 30th as the holiday has lost much of its significance as a day to honor veterans who died in service to the nation.

The Delphos Canal Museum has a large collection of military items on display thanks, in no small way, to the generous donations by the residents of Delphos to the Delphos Historical Society and later to the Canal Museum.

Starting with the Civil War, the citizens of Delphos have taken part in every war fought by our nation. Avery Brown of Delphos was, at 8 years of age, one of the youngest to serve.

Also on display in the Civil War area is an early, handmade flag that was used during a rally for Abraham Lincoln when he was first running for president.

Check out the “Honor Roll” list of Delphos men who served during WW I and look for the names of your ancestors. You could also look for the picture of Ray Louise Scott who served as a nurse in France.

Art Grothouse portrayed the “American Soldier” in a poster used by the military in World War II and we have Art’s uniform on display at the Canal Museum.

The Korean Conflict was never declared a war and was the first time that the United Nations forces were called upon to aid in the fight against aggression. Korea is known as the forgotten war and as far as the Museum goes, there are not many artifacts from those years or from the Vietnam War years. If any local veteran or veterans has an interest in military history, we would gladly accept your help setting up and maintaining the military displays.

The Delphos Canal Museum is open from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursdays and from 1-3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Don’t forget to stop at the Veterans Memorial at 11 a.m. on May 26 to honor those who have died in service to our country.

 

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