For the eighth year in a row, two organizations will place 500 American flags on the graves of service men and women at Williamson Memorial Garden.
The Nashville-Franklin Lodge No. 72 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) in conjunction with the Veterans’ of Foreign Wars Franklin Post No. 4892 will place the flags on the graves at 5 p.m. on Friday, the BPOE said in a press release.
Williamson Memorial Garden is located at 3009 Columbia Ave., Franklin, TN, 37064.
These two groups, because of their love and support of those who have served, want to ensure that the meaning of Memorial Day is not forgotten, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks said. Memorial Day is the day we set aside to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of the United States of America.
Memorial Day is one of three days set aside each year to honor the military; the other two are Military Appreciation Day and Veterans’ Day.
Since 1897, the Nashville-Franklin Lodge No. 72 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks has remembered the children and veterans of Nashville and the surrounding area.
Richard Gardiner, Associate Professor of History Education, Columbus State University, last May wrote on the forgotten history of Memorial Day for The Tennessee Star.
In the years following the Civil War, former Union Gen. John A. Logan, who headed the largest Union veterans’ fraternity at that time, the Grand Army of the Republic, is usually credited as being the originator of the holiday.
Yet when General Logan established the holiday, he acknowledged its genesis among the Union’s former enemies, saying, “It was not too late for the Union men of the nation to follow the example of the people of the South.”
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.