With the social distancing orders from Gov. Whitmer to halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus, there are no official Memorial Day activities in Saline today.
Those orders may have canceled the pancake breakfast, parade and organized activities. But nothing prevents citizens from walking in downtown Saline and viewing the flags or banners honoring Saline's veterans.
And there are no orders to stop citizens from visiting Oakwood Cemetery and viewing the doughboy monument, or visiting the gravestones decorated with American flags.
Certainly, thanks to the stay-at-home order, many of us have had more time to reflect than we ever wanted. But Memorial Day does offer us an opportunity to consider the selfless sacrifices made by America's servicemen and women, and reflect upon what that means to us today.
The following article is reprinted from the May 31, 1917 edition of the Saline Observer.
Saline Paid Loving Tribute
Beautiful Exercises Marked the Passing of Another Memorial Day
Beautiful Exercises Marked the Passing of Another Memorial Day. Memorial Day was accorded very fair weather, in spite of threatening clouds and promise of rain, and as a result nothing marred the pleasure our people take in honoring the living and departed soldiers.
The program that had been prepared for the occasion was carried out in full, with the exception that Rev. Stevenson offered prayer in place of Rev. Hoffman, whose absence unavoidable. The march to the cemetery at 1:30 was headed by the Boy Scouts under the leadership of Scout Master Howard Bartlett, followed in order by the band, school children. Sons of Veterans and the surviving veterans of the Civil War, the latter transported in automobiles.
The open house was comfortably filled and all enjoyed the splendid program. The opening number, a medley of patriotic airs by the hand, was especially fine. Messrs. Payne, and Barr (several illegible names) rendered several beautiful selections and were applauded.
Following the invocation by Rev. Stevenson, Rev. L. A. Barrett of Ann Arbor delivered a scholarly address. He opened his remarks by complimenting Saline on the simple, yet impressive ceremony of decorating the living soldiers by the little girls which he had just witnessed, and which he hopes to introduce in other places he may visit. For nearly an hour he spoke of the immortal Lincoln, the significance of Memorial Day, and the added import of the ceremonies occasioned by the entry of Uncle Sam in the world struggle of the present day. In closing he impressed on all the duties of the hour, how each may do his or her bit, and made a strong plea for the support of the I.iberty Loan.
After the close of the exercises in the opera house the band repaired to the paved square and rendered a very pleasing program, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.