At 3 pm on Memorial Day, Oscar Stivala participated in the Taps Across America ceremony, when more than 2,500 trumpet and bugle players from across the country play taps, all at the same time.

by Dave Warner

Little Falls residents paid tribute Monday morning to the fallen veterans at a somber service in Wards Park.

In 1868, General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic called for a “Decoration Day,” which was widely celebrated. By 1890 every Northern state had adopted it as a holiday. The World Wars turned it into a generalized day of remembrance, instead of just for the Civil War.

Now named Memorial Day, it commemorates the men and women who died while in the military service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle.

Some facts about Memorial Day:

  • The end of May chosen as the observation day because flowers are in bloom.
  • In 1971, federal law changed the observance of the holiday to the last Monday in May.
  • It was also declared a National Holiday in 1971.
  • The official birthplace of Memorial Day is Waterloo, New York
  • The National Moment of Remembrance is at 3 p.m. Monday

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo stated, “50 years ago, in 1971, Memorial Day became an official federal holiday – a day on which the American people could reflect upon the sacrifices made by service members past and present to uphold our democracy. Our freedom is no small gift and we owe endless thanks to those who gave their lives answering the call to serve.”

“Servicewomen and men are heroes. While we acknowledge and celebrate those we’ve lost defending our country today, we should express our thanks every day for all they have given and continue to give. God bless our troops and God bless America,” Cuomo said.