PHOTO GALLERY: Memorial Day Service in Gonzales, Texas, May 31, 2021


Gonzales County honored its war dead during a Memorial Day service on Monday, May 31 starting at 8 a.m. at Texas Heroes Square, on St. Joseph St. between St. Lawrence and St. Louis streets.

The ceremony included the reading of the names of Gonzales County soldiers who died in service to their country, the playing of taps, and the lowering of flags to half-staff.

About Memorial Day

Memorial Day’s roots date back to the post-Civil War Decoration Day in 1868. Graves of the war dead were decorated with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

According to the Veteran’s Administration, the first large observance – attended by 5,000 people – was held in 1868 at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

By the end of the 19th century, the VA reports, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.

It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May.