This is article 1 of 7 in the Sparta 175th Birthday Commemorative Article Series. Limited collectible printed versions are available at ChoiceOne Bank, Sparta Township Office, Sparta Village Office, Compass Credit Union, & Independent Bank starting Wednesday, June 2, 2021.
“Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who have died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. The Civil War which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national ceremonies. By the late 1860’s Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.” (history.com)
Throughout the years Sparta has faithfully celebrated Memorial Day. For years it began with a prayer service at Greenwood Cemetery, followed by a parade led by local veterans serving as Honor Guard. Many local organizations participated. Throughout the years participants included Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and Brownies, groups from local churches, little league teams and our Junior and Senior school bands. Following the parade, a Laying of the Wreath Ceremony, in memory of those who died in service to our country, was held at the Sparta State Bank in front of the memorial plaque donated by Sparta High School Student Council.
In recent years the Memorial Day Service remembering our fallen has been held at Lamoreaux Park. The park was named for the three Lamoreaux brothers who gave their lives in service to our country during WWII. The event includes the reading of the names of those lost during all wars, the Civil War through today. Others who are included in this ceremony are local clergy, a keynote speaker, the laying of the wreath by our Boy Scouts and patriotic music played by the Sparta High School band.
The 2021 Memorial Day Ceremony will be held Monday, May 31st, 10:30 am at Lamoreaux Park (256 Park St., Sparta, Mi) with keynote speaker Veteran Donald Bradford and music provided by Sparta High School Band.
Hosted by the Lekstrum-Burnett American Legion Post 107 and Sparta Township Historical Commission.