New York State Funeral Directors Association

People gather for a Memorial Day commemoration in Riverside Park, New York City on May 30, 1917. Image from the Library of Congress.

The words of Union Army General John A. Logan created an important holiday many Americans observe with family gatherings and some with visits to cemeteries.

The modern Memorial Day holiday was created after Logan’s General Order marked May 30, 1868 as a day for decorating the graves of “comrades who died in defense of their country.”

Last week, I served a family that was particularly injured by the actions of the decedent during her lifetime.

She was an older woman, and during her youth and young adult life, she had departed from the traditions of her family. This abandonment caused strife and other difficulties for her siblings and children.

Video: Slaves No More

New York's Capital Region honors, re-buries Colonial-era slaves. Found by accident in an unmarked cemetery, scientists pinpointed their African origin and the community held a wake and funeral.

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