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Posted: May 26, 2014 10:17 AMUpdated: May 26, 2014 10:17 AM

Bartlesville's 1st Memorial Day

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Jon Eastman

71 years before Memorial Day was recognized as a national holiday, citizens of Bartlesville, Indian Territory were honoring those who had served their country. According to records, White Rose Cemetery hosted memorial day services in the year 1900, just three years after Bartlesville had been incorporated and seven years before Oklahoma became a state. At the time, those honored were those who had fought in the Civil War and, according to most reports, the ceremony would have been held May 30th. In 1971, Congress made Memorial Day a national holiday and decreed that it should be held on the last Monday of May. The founder of Memorial Day, Major General John A. Logan said that on Memorial Day we should decorate graves of the fallen with “the choicest flowers of springtime,” so that “no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.” May we truly remember those who gave their lives so we may be free and use this day to show that remembrance.


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