June 13, 2024

Memorial Day 2024 at Gate of Heaven Cemetery


Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day in the USA, originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971 to commemorate all American military personnel who died in all wars. Only a few years later in 1974, James Hartzell, a copywriter at Campbell Ewald, wrote the most famous car jingles of all time. The full slogan is “Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet, they go together in the good ol’ USA.” It seems that it really stuck with many Americans on the Memorial Days to follow and many forgot about the true meaning of this last Monday in May.  Thus, unfortunately, in our present time there are many Americans that do not focus on the history and true meaning of Memorial Day. Yes, many seem to have their gatherings with cookouts and picnics on that day. However, either many do not even know truly why businesses and schools are closed on the last Monday of May every year or they just do not take time to focus on what that day is all about.

“Back in the Civil War which ended in the spring of 1865, and claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history, required the establishment of our country’s first national cemeteries. From that time on, many cities and towns in America started springtime tributes to the countless fallen soldiers, decorating the graves of the soldiers with flowers while they recited prayers. By proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, the first major Memorial Day observance was held to honor those who died “in defense of their country during the late rebellion.” Known to some as “Decoration Day,” mourners honored the Civil War dead by decorating their graves with blossoms of spring flowers. On the first Decoration Day, May 30, 1868, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Civil War soldiers buried in that cemetery.” (www.history.com)

Since, the early 1970’s Gate of Heaven Cemetery, started a tradition on this sacred ground to have a special mass and presentation on Memorial Day to remember, honor, teach and pray for the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Military. Gate of Heaven Cemetery has almost 7000 veterans interred on this sacred ground, and many of them lost their lives serving our country. Of those 7000, over 3000 do not have a military marking. It was in 2020 when the Valor group of Altafiber (previously Cincinnati Bell), who are veterans and family members of veterans who work for the company, dedicated their time to look up the name of every person interred at Gate of Heaven (which is over 47,000). It was Valor that found those 3000 veterans, those individuals, who served our country in the US Military, but did not submit their military information to Gate of Heaven when interred. It has been the Valor group for the past several years, that not only generously donate the 7000 flags, to Gate of Heaven, but also volunteer to post the flags to honor those who served our nation, their devotion to duty, and to pay tribute to the fallen warriors who are interred here.

Every year, on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day, we pause as a Nation to commemorate all who have made the ultimate sacrifice in armed service to our country. From each generation, heroes have risen up in the heat of battle and given their last full measure to ensure America remains the “Land of the Free.” On this Memorial Day, 2024, we honored the courageous men and women who have been killed in the line of duty. We humbled ourselves in gratitude for the immense sacrifice that all of our US military men and women and their families made. Every day we find inspiration in their courage, perseverance, and devotion to duty. We also prayed for all of the individuals who are interred at Gate of Heaven Cemetery.

Our gratitude overflows to every person that volunteered in some way, or another, for our Annual Memorial Day tradition here this 2024 and for all of the individuals and families that attended our Memorial Presentation, Mass and Patriotic Rosary. We had a wonderful attendance this year and we were blessed again with terrific weather. Please mark your calendar to attend our Annual Memorial Day Presentation, Mass and Patriotic Rosary, Monday, May 26, 2025 starting with Presentation at 10:30 a.m.

God bless America! Let us never forget the history and the definition of Memorial Day! Let us never forget to continue our prayers for our nation and our freedom, and for those who are serving this “One Nation, Under God” now!

In Flanders Field ~ written by World War I Colonel, John McCrae, Birth 1872 – Death 1918

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Note: Coming soon will be wonderful photos captured during this 2024 Memorial Day Flag Posting, Memorial Day Presentation, Memorial Day Field Mass and Memorial Day Patriotic Rosary, shared by many kind volunteers. They will be on our website RESOURCES/Video and Photo Gallery soon!