Adams Co. Extension wins awards

Published 12:27 am Sunday, May 25, 2008

Let me start this week by informing Adams County about some of their citizens’ success. This week I had the opportunity to travel to Starkville with members of the Adams County Homemakers Volunteer Council to the state conference. On the trip was, Mae Stanton, Ernestine Stanton, Lillian Edney, Bonita Reed, Ruby West, Birdie Wade, Lee Braxton, and Josie McClorine. Many state awards were given out and many came home to Adams County including the Community Special Issues Education Award of the year to Mrs. Birdie Wade. Mrs. Lillian Clark Edney also brought home two first place awards in the home environment category and the public relations award for best feature article. Finally, Penny Rachal, Adams County Extension secretary, received the award for outstanding support of MHV for an extension associate. Be sure to congratulate all these ladies for representing our area well.

I would like to be one of the first to wish you a Happy Memorial Day Monday! Before we all begin having barbecues and parties be sure to remember why we celebrate this day.

The exact origins of Memorial Day are very blurry to historians because over two dozen cities and towns claim to have first recognized the day although, President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo N.Y., the birthplace of Memorial Day in May 1966. Nonetheless during the end of the Civil War ladies from the south would go and decorate all the graves of the Confederate soldier. Therefore, it began as Decoration Day to memorialize all the fallen heroes that died serving the greater causes. On May 5, 1868, General John Logan, National Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, officially proclaimed Memorial Day a holiday and it was first observed on May 30, 1868. For the first official Memorial Day flowers were placed on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. In 1873, New York was the first state to recognize it as an official holiday, and by 1890 it was recognized by all northern states. Many southern states did not begin observing it on the same date until after World War I when the day became a symbol to remember all soldiers not just those lost during the Civil War.

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Although many southern states still have a separate day to remember the Confederate war dead, April 26 in Mississippi, the nation as a whole now observes Memorial Day as one. In 1971, Congress passed a law making the last Monday in May Memorial Day to give all federal employees a three day holiday to observe the event.

So while we all spend tomorrow having a wonderful time with friends and family be sure to remember those from yesterday that paid the ultimate cost to give us what we have today. On behalf of the Adams County Extension Service we want to say thank you to all local servicemen for your service to America. For those of you with loved ones overseas and on the homefront, we send you our thoughts, prayers, support and gratitude. Have a wonderful holiday and God bless America!

David Carter is director of the Adams County Extetnsion Service. He can be reached at