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From the Publisher

From the NFH Team

Not that anyone wants to rush things, but hurray, May is here! I love May ñ Motherís Day, weather thatís not too hot or too cold, graduations, flowers blooming ñ itís one of the best months of the year. It feels like May should be the first month of the year because itís the start of things like summer and new beginnings for graduates. Itís bittersweet as well when we end the month with Memorial Day, remembering those weíve lost in war.Although officials from more than 25 cities and towns in the United States once believed they owned the birthrights to the first Memorial Day remembrance; in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y., the official birthplace of the commemoration of those who had died in battle, beginning with the Civil War.However, Memorial Day had numerous origins as people spontaneously gathered throughout the country to honor their fallen neighbors and loved ones.Gen. John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, officially proclaimed Memorial Day on May 5, 1868. On May 30 the same year, the federal government officially observed Memorial Day for the first time. In honoring the war dead, flowers were placed on the graves of the Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.A womenís organization in the South is credited as the first to decorate the graves of soldiers who had died in the Civil War. Because of the womenís actions, Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day.In 1873, New York became the first state to officially recognize Memorial Day. By 1890, all of the northern states officially recognized the holiday; however, the South refused, choosing to honor their dead on separate days. After World War I, southern states finally recognized the day when the focus of the holiday changed from the Civil War to all wars.In 1971, Congress passed the National Holiday Act to allow a three-day weekend for federal holidays ñ Memorial Day included.Some people believe the meaning of Memorial Day has been slighted or ignored in some places throughout the years. When the day became part of a three-day weekend, in some cities, Memorial Day parades diminished and festivities focused more on concerts, arts and craft shows, sports tournaments ñ activities that werenít related to giving homage to those who had died in past or present wars. However, some cities and towns have remained true to the heart of Memorial Day.We hope that May fills your hearts with joy for new beginnings and sweet memories of loved ones who lost their lives for our country.Happy Motherís Day and congratulations to all the graduates from our community!– Deb, Michelle and the NFH Team

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