Bisbee Memorial Day, 2016

Evergreen tombstone marked with GAR medallion

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Bisbee’s 2016 Memorial Day commemoration will be at 11 a.m. at Evergreen Cemetery, under the auspices of the local VFW and American Legion posts.

Bisbee holidays of the past seemed to be taken more seriously, in no small part because there were fewer of them. But 50, 100 or 125 years ago, none of them was relegated to simply three days for barbecuing.

Evergreen tombstone marked with GAR medallion

Bisbee’s Evergreen Cemetery has at least one Civil War soldier’s grave marked by a GAR medallion.

Days like Memorial Day, which was originally May 30, were on the designated day, not the nearest Monday. Memorial Day was originally Decoration Day, so called in 1868 when it was established because it was a time to decorate the graves of men who had died while serving in the army or navy.

It was established by an organization known as the GAR, or Grand Army of the Republic, Union army veterans, but the day later took in Confederate veterans and then all men and women who had made the ultimate sacrifice.

There is much that can be said about Memorial Day in Bisbee. The photo gallery at top shows the heart of the community’s story.