Category Archives: Memorial Day

McLain Farlow obituary, Stormed Normandy Beach with 1st Battalion Big Red One June 6, 1944, Mr. Farlow lived to be a 100 years old, His memorial fitting for Memorial Day 2016

McLain Farlow obituary, Stormed Normandy Beach with 1st Battalion Big Red One June 6, 1944, Mr. Farlow lived to be a 100 years old, His memorial fitting for Memorial Day 2016

“But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint”….Isaiah 40:31

“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed,
If you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly,
You may come to the moment when you will have to fight
with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival.”…Winston Churchill

“God I love that generation, World War II, “The greatest generation.”
They are passing at an alarming rate and creating an increasing vacuum of integrity and accountability.
Will it be filled?
Can it be filled?”…Citizen Wells

What a fitting memorial for Memorial Day 2016.

From the Greensboro News Record May 30, 2016.

“Percy McLain Farlow was born March 22, 1916 to Percy and Marjorie Cannon Farlow. He was the oldest of nine children. McLain, in his own words said “I walked to Marlboro school with Marshall, Philip, Theron and Nancy. Along the way, several others joined us as we passed their house. It took about 45 minutes because we did not cut through the woods.” He graduated in 1934 from Randleman High School and during those years, he courted Vadalia Marriage Farlow. After graduation, she went onto High Point College and McLain went to live and work on a neighboring farm. The family also provided transportation to him so that he could work at Melrose Hosiery Mill in High Point. After Vadalia’s graduation, they married on June 11, 1941 and headed to Baltimore to work in the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft factory. Two years later in September of 1943, McLain was drafted in the U.S. Army at the age of 27. He began his training at Camp Wheeler in Macon, Georgia and continued his training in South Hampton, England. On June 6, 1944, D-Day, he traveled by boat across the English Channel to France as part of the 1st Battalion, known as the Big Red One. There, his troop was met with raining bullets and though he didn’t talk about the war very much, he would often tell us about the French running across his back while hiding in a ditch. He had a few other favorite stories and we all grew to know what World War II meant to him and we appreciated his time of service. He was later assigned to the Military Post Office and was Honorably Discharged from the Army in 1946. Returning home, he surprised Vadalia by walking upstairs and saying ‘Hello!’ He had ridden a bus to High Point and took a taxi to Sophia to get home. They quickly began their family and raised four daughters, Elizabeth Ann, Amelia, Elaine, and Beverly, on the family farm, all while tending to Vadalia’s parents. McLain was a farmer at heart and returned to that love by tending to a farm of chickens, cows and pigs. He made a weekly egg delivery to the Emerywood area in High Point and to local families each Friday. The girls remember making this trip with him several times, creating lasting memories. McLain also enjoyed being involved in his community and church. He was a birthright member of the Marlboro Friends Meeting and served on the Cemetery Committee. He was also on the Board of Directors for Randolph County Farm Bureau and worked the polls during election time. He was a favorite customer at Food Lion and was invited to cut the ribbon at the Ribbon Ceremony for the opening of the Randleman Food Lion.Later in McLain’s farming career, he hauled cattle for a local cattleman. He enjoyed going to the cow sales and watching the buying and selling. He later leased his farm and was often seen on his Case tractor, checking fences and bush-hogging. He took great pride in maintaining his barns and pastures and for relaxation, he would fish and bird hunt with his favorite dog, Badeye.In McLain’s later years in life, he found enjoyment in reading. At breakfast each morning he read at least three newspapers and was always seen sitting in his chair with a book. The Randolph County Public Library Extension Service visited him each month and brought him a tote of books which he read cover to cover. For birthdays and special occasions, he loved getting lottery scratch-offs and reading the many cards that would come in the mail to him.The grandchildren have many stories about all the chauffeuring he did and on some mornings he dropped girls off at New Market, Randleman Middle and Randleman High only to pick them up seven hours later. There was dance practice, ball practice and always a stop at Farlow Oil. McLain was very giving and loving of his time and taught all of his “children” to enjoy the simple things in life. For Christmas he gave each grandchild and great grandchild a $2 bill. He always signed the card with ‘Merry Christmas, Granddaddy’. He was a man of few words, but with very strong values that he instilled in each member of his family. His advice was like none other and his life motto was “you can’t change the situation so you might as well accept it.”At age 100, McLain very peacefully took his last breath on Saturday afternoon, May 28, 2016. He is pre-deceased by his wife of forty-seven years, Vadalia Farlow; daughters Elizabeth Ann Rich and Elaine Smalley; son-in-law Michael Hilliard; granddaughter, Betsy D. Haynes. He is survived by daughters, Beverly Hilliard, Amelia Davis and husband Keith, son-in-law Larry Rich; eleven grandchildren: Eric Rich and Bia, Bryan Rich and Laurie, Cynthia Strider and Keith, Gayle Robertson and Marshall, Philip Davis and Sonja, Anna Buti and Tim, Autumn O’Malley and Tom, Brooke Farlow, Megan Hallett and David, Leah Redding and Greg, Mollie Hopkins and Jeff; twenty-three great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchildren; brothers Curtis Farlow and Becky, Theron Farlow and Eloise, and sister Jane Myers. To celebrate McLain’s life, a visitation will be held on Wednesday, June 1st from 3 to 4 p.m. at Marlboro Friends followed by a funeral service at 4 p.m. and burial. Pall bearers are Bryan Rich, Eric Rich, Philip Davis, Keith Strider, Marshall Robertson, Steven Haynes, David Hallett, Greg Redding, and Jeff Hopkins. Pugh Funeral Home of Randleman is assisting the family. Online condolences may be made to the family at: www:pughfuneralhome.com.

http://www.greensboro.com/obituaries/farlow-mclain/article_58db1e48-e1be-5f2d-881a-600e68ac85da.html

God bless McLain Farlow and his family.

 

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Memorial Day Monday May 25, 2015, World War hero Pastor Gerald C. Primm obituary, P-38 Lightning fighter pilot, Greensboro News Record obituary, Distinguished Flying Cross

Memorial Day Monday May 25, 2015, World War hero Pastor Gerald C. Primm obituary, P-38 Lightning fighter pilot, Greensboro News Record obituary, Distinguished Flying Cross

“But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint”….Isaiah 40:31

“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed,
If you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly,
You may come to the moment when you will have to fight
with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival.”…Winston Churchill

 

 

God I love that generation, World War II, “The greatest generation.”

They are passing at an alarming rate and creating an increasing vacuum of integrity and accountability.

Will it be filled?

Can it be filled?

The following article deserves repeating.

From Citizen Wells May 29, 2011.

“I have read many obituaries. I always look for the ones of Word War II veterans. It is my way of thanking them for their sacrifices. Today I was presented an obituary that left me in awe and with respect for a shining example from the Greatest Generation. It is fitting that the world celebrate and give thanks for the life of Pastor Gerald C. Primm, a war hero and man of God.

From the Greensboro News and Record Obituaries, Sunday, May 29, 2011, Memorial Day Weekend.

“Gerald joined the Army Air Force during WWII to fight for his country. He became a Fighter Pilot flying the P-38 Lightning. During the war years he flew 56 combat missions (Note: only had to fly 50 but volunteered for 6 more). His exploits as a fighter pilot ranged from starting his European service in Casablanca, to starting his combat missions in Mateur, Tunisia in Northern Africa and in escorting bombers to Sardinia. After Sardinia was liberated by the Allies, he was stationed at Sardinia where he suffered from a bout of yellow jaundice. From Sardinia Gerald was stationed at Gioia del Colle on Italy proper.

He flew six combat missions out of Gioia del Colle – the most harrowing was the mission to escort bombers to bomb a ball-bearing plant in Wiener-Neustadt, Austria. When the bombers arrived at Wiener-Neustadt they had to abort their mission due to weather, but this just started the travails of Gerald as bandits (enemy) were spotted and Gerald counted about 25 of them and then another 35 were spotted for a total of 60. Outnumbered by 60 to 16, Gerald’s plane was fixed upon and a bullet knocked out his hydraulic system and one engine, thus his wing flaps were not maneuverable and his landing gear would not deploy. Gerald dismissed bailing out over Yugoslavia and decided to skim the mountain tops and glide over the Adriatic Sea. To compound Gerald’s problems a German plane was coming in for the kill and one of Gerald’s fellow pilots, Jim Advey, came to the rescue and drove the enemy fighter away. They remained life-long friends after the war. Gerald’s Wiener-Neustadt escapade ended as he spotted an airfield north of Foggia, Italy and Gerald crash landed at 130 miles an hour without the plane somersaulting down the runway.
The remaining number of his 50 missions would be flown out of Foggia airfields which included escorting bombers to bomb the infamous Ploesti oil refineries in Rumania. Other exploits included flying from England to Algiers and having to emergency land on Gibraltar because one engine had failed. But the most noteworthy assignment of the war came about after Gerald had received the promotion to captain and volunteered for more missions (6) beyond his obligatory requirement of 50. At this time he was called into the office of Lt. General Ira Eaker, Mediterranean Commander, USAAF at King Victor Emmanuel’s Palace where he was asked if he knew about the upcoming invasion of Southern France. Once Gerald said no, Eaker informed him that he had been selected to fly Lt. General Jacob Devers, Supreme Allied Commander of the Mediterranean, in a specially modified P-38 to view the invasion on August 15, 1944, called Operation Dragoon. This Gerald did as he and the General, as well as 7 other Generals flew out of Corsica to view the invasion of Southern France by the Allies.

For his exploits in WWII Gerald received the Distinguished Flying Cross awarded for “Heroism or Extraordinary Achievement” and the Air Medal with nine oak leaf clusters. In addition he received the Asian-Pacific Theatre Ribbon, Europe-Africa-Mediterranean Theater Ribbon with three battle stars and Distinguished Unit Citation.

After the war Gerald attempted to pick up his college education that had been interrupted by the war years by attending the UNC-Chapel Hill and moving to Texas to attend Baylor University. But a higher calling was in the offing for Gerald as he felt led to enter the Christian ministry as a Southern Baptist Preacher/Pastor. At about the same time he met the love of his life Ethel Brown at the First Baptist Church in Sanford where Ethel was Educational Director. Their marriage on December 28, 1948 formed a magnificent partnership in serving their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ until Ethel’s death on January 10, 2006. “

“Gerald also took a stand for Civil Rights as evidenced by his bold and heroic actions in the 1950′s at his church in Raleigh which was located beside Shaw University, a black college. Some of the leaders of the church told Gerald that four Shaw University Students (African American) were attempting to enter the church to worship and these officials would not let them. Gerald rebuked them and told the officials to let them come in to worship. The next week Gerald, from the pulpit, resigned as pastor saying the courageous and truthful words to some members of the congregation that “their hearts were blacker than the faces of the students they barred from the place of worship”. This incident made statewide, national, and international news and brought Gerald great admiration from the African-American communities in Raleigh and threats from others. To the church’s credit they received the rebuke from their pastor and voted to rescind his resignation.
Gerald Primm was a war hero and a hero of the faith, but to the ones who loved him and knew him the most he was a loving friend, pastor, mentor, husband, brother, son and father. “

Thank God for the life of Pastor Gerald C. Primm

Oldest American war veteran, Richard Arvine Overton 107 years old, Austin Texas honors him, Served in South Pacific from 1942 through 1945, Greatest Generation

Oldest American war veteran, Richard Arvine Overton 107 years old, Austin Texas honors him, Served in South Pacific from 1942 through 1945, Greatest Generation

“Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.”…George Washington

“To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.”
…George Washington

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”…Thomas Paine

 

 

From Fox News May 26, 2013.

For his 107th Memorial Day, Richard Arvine Overton, who saw many of his fellow soldiers fall in the line of duty in World War II and even more die over the following decades, is planning a quiet day at the Texas home he built after returning home from World War II.

He wouldn’t want it any other way.

Overton, who is believed to be the nation’s oldest veteran, told FoxNews.com he’ll likely spend the day on the porch of his East Austin home with a cigar nestled in his right hand, perhaps with a cup of whiskey-stiffened coffee nearby.

“I don’t know, some people might do something for me, but I’ll be glad just to sit down and rest,” the Army veteran said during a phone interview. “I’m no young man no more.”

Overton, who was born on May, 11, 1906, in Texas’ Bastrop County, has gotten used to being the center of attention of late. In addition to being formally recognized by Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell on May 9, Overton traveled to Washington, D.C., on May 17 as part of Honor Flight, a nonprofit group that transports veterans free of charge to memorials dedicated to their service. Despite serving in the South Pacific from 1942 through 1945, including stops in Hawaii, Guam, Palau and Iwo Jima to name a few, it was Overton’s first time in the nation’s capital.

“I was really honored when I got there,” Overton said of his visit to the World War II Memorial. “There were so many people, it was up in the thousands. And we danced and we jumped … them people tickled me to death. It made me happy as can be.”

The entire experience gave Overton a “good thrill,” he said, and the significance of visiting the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial at a time when an African-American holds the country’s highest elected office was not lost him.

“I was very, very happy,” Overton continued, adding that he wasn’t deterred by Washington’s expansive National Mall. “At my age and my strength, I’m able to stand up and do anything. My mind is good, so I’m able to do what I want.”

Overton credits his longevity to aspirin, which he takes daily, and the relatively stress-free life he’s enjoyed since getting out of the service in October 1945. He then worked at local furniture stores before taking a position with the Texas Treasury Department in Austin. He married twice but never fathered any children and still attends church every Sunday.”
Read more:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/05/26/america-oldest-veteran-to-spend-quiet-memorial-day-at-texas-home/?cmpid=twitter_fn#ixzz2UUlP7SXm

God bless Mr. Overton and all veterans.

Obama Kenya birth story allowed student aid at Columbia without a Selective Service Application, Solomon Bill, Obama 1983 Sundial article, Memorial Day 2012

Obama Kenya birth story allowed student aid at Columbia without a Selective Service Application, Solomon Bill, Obama 1983 Sundial article, Memorial Day 2012

“At this time, the current major issue is the Solomon Bill, the latest legislation from Congress to obtain compliance to registration. The law requires that
all male students applying for federal financial aid submit proof of registration, or else the government coffers will close. Yale, Wesleyan, and Swathmore
have refused to comply, and plan to offer non-registrants other forms of financial aid. SAM hopes to press Columbia into following suit, though so far
President Sovern and company seem prepared to acquiesce to the bill.”

“Several students have come up to our tables and said that had they known of the ineffectiveness of prosecution, they would not have registered.”…1983 Columbia University article by Barack Obama

“The Solomon Bill, requiring students at Columbia and other colleges to register for the draft and references to Obama being born in Kenya until 2008, explain why Obama did not register for the draft and why Obama’s Selective Service Application was forged.”…Citizen Wells

I believe that the best way that we can honor fallen soldiers on Memorial Day, or any other day, is to do our duty to maintain our system of government and laws that they fought to protect. It was fitting today to connect more dots together about Obama’s past and why he may have refused to fill out and submit a Selective Service Application.

We have in recent months obtained stronger corroboration of Obama claiming to be from Kenya in the past. Why would he do so?

Thanks to Debbie Schlussel who first broke the Obama fraudulent Selective Service Application story in 2008.

“On the previous FOIA response, they stated that it was filed on September 4, 1980. In my second request I mentioned that Obama could not have filed it in Hawaii on September 4, 1980 as he was attending Occidental College in California, the classes of which commenced August 24, 1980.”

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/obama-signature-on-selective-service-registration-fraud-debbie-schlussel-first-investigated-document-sheriff-joe-arpaio-investigation-video/

The 1983 Obama article in the Columbia University Sundial takes on new meaning with the strong Kenya references we now know of.

“Also operating out of Earl Hall Center, Students Against Militarism was formed in response to the passage of registration laws in 1980. An entirely student
-run organization, SAM casts a wider net than ARA, though for the purposes of effectiveness, they have tried to lock in on one issue at a time.

“At the heart of our organization is an anti-war focus”, says junior Robert Kahn, one of SAM’s fifteen or so active members. “From there, a lot of issues
shoot forth – nukes, racism, the draft, and South Africa. “We have been better organized when taking one issue at a time, but we are always cognizant of
other things going on, and collaborate frequently with other campus organizations like CISPES and REEL-POLITIK.”

At this time, the current major issue is the Solomon Bill, the latest legislation from Congress to obtain compliance to registration. The law requires that
all male students applying for federal financial aid submit proof of registration, or else the government coffers will close. Yale, Wesleyan, and Swathmore
have refused to comply, and plan to offer non-registrants other forms of financial aid. SAM hopes to press Columbia into following suit, though so far
President Sovern and company seem prepared to acquiesce to the bill.

Robert believes students tacitly support non-registrants, though the majority did not comply. “Several students have come up to our tables and said that had
they known of the ineffectiveness of prosecution, they would not have registered.” A measure of such underlying support is the 400 signatures, on a petition protesting the Solomon Bill, which SAM collected the first four hours it appeared. Robert also points out that prior to registration, there were four
separate bills circulation in the House proposing a return to the draft, but none ever got out of committees, and there have not been renewed efforts. An
estimated half-million registrants can definitely be a powerful signal.

Prodding students into participating beyond name signing and attending events is tricky, but SAM members seem undaunted. “A lot of the problem comes not
from people’s ignorance of the facts, but because the news and statistics are lifeless. That’s why we search for campus issues like the Solomon bill that
have direct impact on the student body, and effectively link the campus to broader issues.” By organizing and educating the Columbia community, such
activities lay the foundation for future mobilization against the relentless, often silent spread of militarism in the country. “The time is right to tie
together social and military issues, “Robert continues, “and the more strident the Administration becomes, the more aware people are of their real interests.

The belief that moribund institutions, rather than individuals are at the root of the problem, keep SAM’s energies alive. “A prerequisite for members of an
organization like ours is the faith that people are fundamentally good, but you need to show them. And when you look at the work people are doing across the
country, it makes you optimistic.

Perhaps the essential goodness of humanity is an arguable proposition, but by observing the SAM meeting last Thursday night, with its solid turnout and
enthusiasm, one might be persuaded that the manifestations of our better instincts can at least match the bad ones. Regarding Columbia’s possible
compliance, one comment in particular hit upon an important point with the Solomon bill, “The thing we need to do is expose how Columbia is talking out of
two sides of its mouth.”

Indeed the most pervasive malady of the collegiate system specifically, and the American experience generally, in that elaborate patterns of knowledge and
theory have been disembodied from individual choices and government policy. What the members of ARA and SAM try to do is infuse what they have learned about the current situation, bring the words of that formidable roster on the face of Butler Library, names like Thoreau, Jefferson, and Whitman, to bear on the
twisted logic of which we are today a part. By adding their energy and effort in order to enhance the possibility of a decent world, they may help deprive
us of a spectacular experience – that of war. But then, there are some things we shouldn’t have to live through in order to want to avoid the experience.”

Gettysberg Address, Abraham Lincoln, Civil War, Memorial Day, Lest we forget, Open Thread

Gettysberg Address, Abraham Lincoln, Civil War, Memorial Day

“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”…Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysberg Address

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Memorial day weekend, Lest we forget, Citizen Wells open thread, May 30, 2010

Memorial day weekend, Lest we forget, Citizen Wells open thread

I know more about ancestral participation in the American revolution than I do of the Civil War. However, I discovered the obituary of an ancestor several years ago. There is mention of his wound and battles. Since Memorial Day has roots in commemorating civil war soldiers, I share his obituary.

David Wells

“Death:   Oct. 11, 1914
American Fork
Utah County
Utah, USA
 
He was the son of Robert H. Wells & Lucinda Ann Gladden Wells. He married Susan Gordon January 5, 1866.
His obituary reads:
Old Canyon Character Goes to Reward-
David Wells, for twelve years Toll Gate Keeper at Mouth of American Fork Canyon, Died Sunday, Buried Tuesday.
David Wells died Sunday at 1 o’clock at the home of his son, Boyce Wells, He has been a sufferer for several years from chronic bronchitis.
Mr. Wells was born in Lincoln, North Carolina, June 10, 1844. He joined the Mormon church in 1883 and came west 31 years ago, locating in Manassa, Colorado. Ten years later he came to American Fork.
He was an old Confederate soldier and was wounded at the battle of Richmond and again at Petersburg. From the injury in the leg from a “minning ball” he never recovered. He was twelve years toll gate keeper at the mouth of American Fork canyon and was noted for his honesty and integrity. His wife, who was Miss Susan Gordon, died three years age. He leaves a son John, still in North Carolina. His other children Frances Wells, Boyce Wells, Mrs. Sarah Anderson and Mrs. Gertrude Brown all live in American Fork.
The funeral was held Tuesday in the Third Ward Meeting House. Bishop J.R. Hindley presided. The other speakers were Henry Miller, M.H. Fitzgerald and president Stephen L. Chipman. The ward choir supplied the music.
 
Burial:
American Fork Cemetery
American Fork
Utah County
Utah, USA ”

God bless all.

Memorial day history, May 29, 2010, Citizen Wells open thread, Lest we forget

Memorial day history, May 29, 2010

“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”…Abraham Lincoln

 

Memorial Day History

“Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.
 

 
Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.”

Read more:

http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html