For many of us, Memorial Day weekend has come to represent the first real gasp of summer — a time to gather together and enjoy the great outdoors. But how many of us acknowledge — or even remember — the true significance of this venerable, once-sacred holiday, which was was created as a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. Did you know, for example, that the holiday was originally called Decoration Day? Or that it was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery? Ever since the late ‘50s, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery, on the Thursday before Memorial Day. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing.
By the way, do you know the proper flag etiquette for displaying your flag on Memorial Day? That’s right; there’s a proper way to fly your flag. Here’s how: In the morning, the flag should be attached to the halyard and raised briskly to the top of the flag pole, then slowly lowered to the mid-way point of the pole. At noon, the flag should be raised to the top of the flag pole. At the end of the day, the flag should be slowly and ceremoniously lowered and removed.
I’d like to mention another tradition that’s worth a reminder: The “National Moment of Remembrance,” a resolution passed in 2000, which asks that all Americans “voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect,” at 3 p.m. local time, by pausing from whatever they’re doing for one minute to observe a moment of silence or to listen to Taps. I plan on observing the National Moment of Remembrance this year. I hope you will too.
Here’s a rundown of area Memorial Day ceremonies and weekend activities.
Saturday, May 26
ANTIQUES SALE FUND-RAISER — 8 am-5 pm, Sisters Fire Hall. Proceeds benefit Sisters Kiwanis Club. 541-480-1412.
GLAZE MEADOW DEMO DAYS & TENT SALE — Celebrating the opening of the revamped Glaze Meadow golf course. The latest golf equipment from major golf club manufacturers will be on view, w/reps from Taylor Made, Nike, Ping, Calloway & Bridgestone on site. Sale: 30-70% off gear & accessories. 10 am-3 pm (until 5 for sale). Big Meadow, Black Butte Ranch. www.blackbutteranch.com/golf or 800-901-2961.
Sunday, May 27
SISTERS STAMPEDE — 3rd annual mountain bike race. Featuring a new course design in 2012,Oregons largest MTBr ace takes riders & racers through the beautiful pine forests of the Peterson Ridge Trail. Finishes at Three Creeks Brewing Co., with live band & free Kids Race, raffle & give-aways. www.sistersstampede.com or 541-595-8711.
PANCAKE BREAKFAST FUND-RAISER — All-you-can-eat ham, eggs, pancakes, orange juice & coffee. Adults $7, children 5-10 $5, under 5 free. Proceeds benefit Friends of the Metolius. 8-11:30 am, Camp Sherman Community Hall. 541-595-2719.
HONORING OUR VETERANS CONCERT — An evening of patriotic music; donations benefit Crook County veterans. 7 pm at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Prineville. Donations accepted. 541-447-7085.
Monday, May 28
SISTERS MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE — Featuring guest speaker Bob Maxwell, Oregon’s only living Medal of Honor winner. BBQ to follow. Everyone welcome. 11 am at Village Green Park. 541-549-4162.
BEND MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE — Featuring speaker Maj. Scot Caughran and a jet flyover; followed by a reception at VFW Post 1643. 1 pm at Deschutes Memorial Gardens (63875 N. U.S. Highway 97). 541-382-5592.
PRINEVILLE MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE — Event begins with a parade through downtown Prineville; followed by services at Juniper Haven Cemetery. 10:30 am. 541-447-2329.
TERREBONNE MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY — 9 am at Terrebonne Pioneer Cemetery (Smith Rock Way, near Smith Rock State Park). 541-280-5161.
About the Author
Lisa Broadwater, GRI, CDPE, is a Central Oregon-based real estate professional who specializes in listing and selling homes, especially in Sisters, Tumalo, Bend and Redmond.