BLOOMINGBURG — Bloomingburg Lodge 449 Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio sponsored the annual Memorial Day ceremony at the Bloomingburg Cemetery. Wayne King served as the master of ceremonies and gave a history of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Cpl. Henry Casey, who served as treasurer of the Bloomingburg Masonic Lodge from 1873 until his death in 1919.
Roger Duncan gave the Memorial Day address. He gave an interesting and informative account of how several communities claim to have been the first to start Memorial Day. But it was Civil War General John A. Logan, who in 1868 while serving as Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), issued his now famous General Order No. 11 directing members of the GAR to go to their local cemetery on May 30 and decorate the graves of all Civil War soldiers and sailors. This action resulted in May 30 becoming Decoration Day.
Following World War II and the Korean War, the U.S. Congress changed the name from Decoration Day to Memorial Day to honor veterans of all wars who died to save their country; and changed the date from May 30 to the last Monday in May.
Washington Municipal Court Judge Vic Pontious not only gave the history of how President Abraham Lincoln was invited to make a few appropriate remarks at the dedication of a new national cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for the soldiers who died during the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg, but he recited from memory Lincoln’s now famous Gettysburg Address.
Members of Henry Casey Camp 92 Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, in their role as members of Company C, 20th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Sons of Veterans Reserve, posted the colors and fired a military salute. John Pfeifer played taps, and Brian Karnes gave both the invocation and the benediction.