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Sault Ste. Marie celebrates traditional Memorial Day with parade, other events

SAULT STE. MARIE — While most cities held their parades and events on the observed Memorial Day this past Monday, Sault Ste. Marie held theirs Thursday.

Originally called Decoration Day, the holiday was formalized by a “Memorial Day order” on May 30, 1868, by General John Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic.

It was to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers and was designated for the purpose of strewing flowers or decorating the graves of those who died.

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Since then, Sault Ste. Marie has held its service on May 30 despite the federal government passing the “uniform Monday holiday act” in 1968.

The act made Memorial Day officially on the last Monday of May.

Roger Merchberger, American Legion Post 3 commander, said, “I feel it is important so that you can actually remain connected to the reason why we have a Memorial Day, or Decoration Day, because our freedom is based on all of those people that never had a chance to take off their uniform.”

After wreaths were laid in front of the memorials, the ceremony ended with a 21-gun salute and the playing of taps.

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