Patricia Rucker


PO Box 507
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425



Legislative Address:
State Capitol, Room W-223
1900 Kanawha Blvd., East
Charleston, WV 25305-0800

Memorial Day

I am grateful to all those who have served our country and have risked their lives in defense of our principles. I will forever remember those who gave their lives in service to America. 

According to, in the aftermath of the Civil War many locations around the nation began holding ceremonies to honor the fallen soldiers on both sides of the deadliest conflict in American history. The death toll led to the institution of national cemeteries. People would come to decorate the graves of the fallen soldiers and in May of 1868 General John Logan called for a national day of remembrance to be held May 30, 1868. General James Garfield spoke at that first national observance of Decoration Day.  Legend has it that the date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of any particular battle.

That first Decoration Day was held at Arlington National Cemetery and 5,000 people decorated the graves of 20,000 Union and Confederate Soldiers buried there.  Decoration Day eventually became known as Memorial Day and in 1968 the federal government moved all federal holidays to Mondays. In 1971 Memorial Day became an official federal holiday to be observed on the last Monday in May.  

Originally an observance to remember those who died in the Civil War, after World War I it became an observance to honor and remember all service men and women who have died serving in the military. 

At 3:00 PM local time (15:00 in Military Time) every year there is a national moment of remembrance to honor those who paid the ultimate price in the defense of our liberties.  I will remember these brave men and women in my prayers.