"The Credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; Who strives valiantly... Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; Who spends himself in a worthy cause; Who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and Who at the worst, if fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls Who have known neither victory nor defeat."
Though Virginia may not have held the first Memorial Day, according to General and Mrs. John A. Logan, the latter's report to her husband following her visit to Petersburg when she observed the first 9th of June Memorial Day honoring the "Old Men and Young Boys" in 1866 became the Generals Inspiration for our National Memorial Day.
In her book Cullings From the Confederacy by Miss Nora Davidson can be found a lengthy statement under the by-line of Mrs. John A. Logan. In 1866 Mrs. Logan wrote, in part, "We were in Petersburg, Virginia.....As we passed through the graves I noticed that many of them had been strewn with beautiful blossoms and decorated with small flags of the dead Confederacy,.....The idea seemed to me to be a beautiful tribute to the soldier martyrs.....General Logan was at the time Commander-in-Chief of the G. A. R..... and as soon as he met me at the station (on her return to Washington D. C.) I told him of the graves of soldiers.....He listened with great interest and then said "what a splendid idea.....I will issue an order at once for the decoration of the graves of all those noble fellows who died for their country.
The marker over the grave of Nora Fontaine Maury who was the originator of Memorial Day (June 9,1866) which was the inspiration for the National Decoration Day.
For an in depth site on the research into the origins of Memorial Day please click on the link below.
Services Are held On Memorial Hill in Blandford Cemetery each year. The services are held not only for the 30,000 Confederate dead who are buried here, but for service members of all wars. To visit Memorial Hill, click on the link below.