Union and West End Cemetery

The Union and West End Cemetery is located in center city Allentown. The main entrance is on 10th Street at 10th and Chew Streets. The cemetery is mantained by a dedicated group of volunteers. Ten board members (also volunteers) serve the cemetery association and manage the finances, make application for grants, solicit donations and participate in the maintenance of the cemetery.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Memorial Day 2007


Military Order of the Purple Heart
Chapter 190

Wednesday, May 30, 2007
10:00 a.m.
Union and West End Cemetery
10th & Chew Streets
Allentown, Pennsylvania

Initially, the Memorial Day holiday was on May 30th but this was changed to the last Monday in May, to ensure a three day weekend, by an act of Congress. This fact alone has most likely done more than anything else to create the apathy that surrounds the holiday.

The exact beginning of the tradition of a day to remember fallen soldiers is lost to history. It is known that on April 25, 1866 a group of ladies in Columbus, Mississippi visited a cemetery to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers who had fallen in battle at the Battle of Shiloh. The ladies, disturbed by the sight of the bare graves of fallen Union soldiers, also placed followers on their graves as well, even though they were considered the enemy.

But the origin of Memorial Day is not important. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, National Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery, Alexandria, Virginia.

Following World War I the holiday was changed to recognize all war dead, not just those that died while fighting in the Civil War. The Memorial Day Holiday now celebrates and honors all those that died while fighting in any of the wars in which they have been asked to serve.

It should be kept in mind that this holiday does not recognize any and all veterans as many think, but it specifically honors those that have fallen in the service of our country. Veterans Day, (November 11th) which is a totally separate holiday, is celebrated to honor the memory of all veterans.

Unfortunately, today few remember the true purpose of this solemn and sacred occasion. It is not about picnics and backyard cookouts, it is a day to remember, honor and show respect to those fallen heroes that gave their lives so that this nation could remain free.


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