Memorial Day means many things to different people. Some relish the day as an opportunity to rest and spend time with loved ones. Others mourn and honor the lives of loved ones they have lost, and often, fallen soldiers they have never met. Most appropriately participate in a combination of both.

Pennsylvania citizens hold to the belief that Memorial Day originated in their home state, which has been contested by New Yorkers, declaring Waterloo, NY as the originating location. Regardless of source, Americans band together on this day year after year. In the 1800s, this holiday was known as Decoration Day, in reference to the many graves patriotically decorated out of respect for the American soldier’s ultimate sacrifice.

How did people celebrate statewide this year? Gettysburg hosted the 157th annual Gettysburg Memorial Day Parade. The traditional parade was followed by a ceremony at Rostrum in the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. The Gettysburg National Cemetery hosted 90-minute walking tours, where lesser-known people are buried. The Memorial Day Car Show and 5K races were among other festivities.

If you would still like to get in on the Memorial Day events, the Gettysburg National Cemetery is continuing their One Hundred Nights of Taps through September 2, 2024. At 7pm nightly, you will be able to hear volunteers play “Taps” to honor the fallen. Volunteers range from military personnel to high school band members.

If you are a gym rat from Hanover, you may have participated in the Murph Challenge, honoring the fallen veteran Lt. Michael P. Murphy. The Murph includes a challenging workout circuit. Those who are really up for a challenge often wear weighted vests during the series of exercises. Many participating athletes were rewarded with a BBQ social afterwards.

These are just a few of the events that make Blue Eagle so proud to call Pennsylvania our home. We hope everyone was able to participate in the Memorial Day event of their choosing, whether in the presence of others, or in private. We pledge to continue our year-round support of veterans and their families by serving those who have served.