Traditional Memorial Day ceremonies are scheduled for 10 a.m. today at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery on Horseshoe Bend Road. Attendees will hear music from the Idaho National Guard 25th Army Band and the Boise Highlanders. The ceremony will also include a 21-gun rifle and cannon salute and military flyover.
Memorial Day traces its roots back to 1866. The Civil War had ended and a resident of Waterloo, N.Y., feared that people would forget the sacrifice of combat, so the first official ceremony was organized as a day of mourning. In 1868, Gen. John Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, officially designated May 30 as a day to remember. That same year, President James Garfield laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. It wasn't until after World War I that the South fully embraced the holiday in lieu of its own designated day. In 1971, Congress designated the last Monday in May as Memorial Day.