Monday May 26, 2008, a celebration
For all our
family war veterans
by Richard Roland Grayson
Memorial Day is a United
States federal holiday that is observed on the last
Monday of May. It was formerly known as Decoration Day.
Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan,
national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed
on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington
The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New
York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the
northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead
on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from
honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans
who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on
the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of
1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays),
though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the
Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida,
Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson
Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.
The American's Creed
you need a toast at your Memorial Day dinner)
believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the
people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the
governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign
States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles
of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots
sacrificed their lives and fortunes. I therefore believe it is my duty to
my country to love it, to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to
respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.”
NOTE: William Tyler
Page, Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, wrote “The American's Creed” in 1917. The
House on behalf of the American people accepted it on April 3, 1918.
John Stone, who
married Anne Hunt in 1778, was a private in Captain Edgell’s Company of
Framingham Minutemen, which marched to Concord
and Cambridge on the Lexington
Alarm, 19 April, 1775, and
was discharged after numerous battles 21st
October, 1777. His great granddaughter married Wyman Tasker.
Sr., of Wilkes County, North
Carolina, served in the North Carolina Militia, Morgan
District, pay voucher dated 31 July, 1784.
War of 1812
John Tasker of Newberry,
Vermont, father of Wyman Tasker, father of William Frederick Tasker, father of Una May
Tasker Grayson, mother of Roland Howard Grayson, served as private in the War
of 1812, against Great Britain,
for 3 months in the Vermont Militia, in the regiment commanded by Col.
Underhill, discharged the 30th
of November, 1813, at Plattsburgh, New
Andrew C. Cummins,
father of Permelia Cummins, the wife of John Wren Grayson, who was the father
of Andrew Jackson Grayson, Sergeant, 28th Kentucky
regiment fought at the Battle of
the Thames in Michigan
in the War of 1812.
Wren Grayson, Sr.,
(son of Benjamin Grayson, sr.) father of John Wren Grayson, served with the
Third Militia of East Tennessee under Captain James Tunnel, 13 September 1814,
to May, 1815, fought at the final battle of Mobile, Alabama after the defeat of
the British at the Battle of New Orleans by General Andrew Jackson.
Grayson, Lieutenant, in the 6th Indiana Regiment fought from the
beginning of the Civil War in 1861 until after the Battle of Shiloh April 6th
and 7th, 1862. He was at the first battle in the Civil War, the
Battle of Phillipi, W. VA. and saw action at the Battle
at Shiloh under Ulysses S. Grant
Four cousins of Andrew Jackson Grayson served in Indiana
regiments in the Civil War. They were
the sons of John Wren Grayson’s brother Wren Grayson, Jr.: Hiram, William, John, and Beryl Grayson. John T. Grayson fought at the battle of Gettysburg. Beryl died of wounds in the war.
Wyman S. Tasker
of Cabot, Vermont,
served in the Civil War in Company I, Regiment 2, Massachusetts Heavy
Andrew Jackson McCoy, Great Grandfather of Robert Jebavy, enlisted in Capt.
Grigsby Company, 2nd Company M, 62nd VA Mounted Infantry,
Confederate Army of America, 1864, fought at Battle of Newmarket in 1864,
captured at Battle of Waynboro in 1864, b 1847, d 193_ age 107.
World War II
Sherman Lans, son
of Anna Leah Mandelbaum Lans, (sister of Sylvia Mandelbaum Grayson,) served in
the United States Army throughout Europe as a medic,
including the Battle of the Bulge.
Robert Jebavy, Sr., served in the United States
Marine Corps in the Pacific including the Okinawa Campaign and immediately
after the war was posted to northern China to protect munitions from the
Communists and to help repatriate Japanese soldiers.
Clevenger, Lieutenant j.g., father of Roberta Gerbrecht
Grayson, served on the battleship USS Mississippi in the Pacific campaigns and
was on board his ship in Tokyo Bay
at the signing of the surrender of Japan.
Grayson, assigned to Wabash college and U of IL medical school V-1 and V-12
and Internship by the USNR, 1943-1948; Apprentice Seaman, Ensign, and Lt. j.g.
Transferred to USAFR, US Training Command as physician at Reese AFB, TX, then
Base Surgeon, Greenville AFB; Greenville, MS, 1950-1952, 1st Lt.,
then Captain, discharged June 1952.
Iraq War II
Aaron Rutter, son of Priscilla Grayson
Rutter, served as a United States Navy Corpsman attached to the United
States Marine Corps for 7 months duty, 2004-2005. September 14th, 2004, he left for Iraq
with the 24th
Marine Expeditionary Unit of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines. They were in
the city of Mahmudiyah about 25 miles south of Baghdad,
which the Army took over from the Marines on March 24, 2005. 2/24 is a reserve Battalion based in Chicago,
Illinois with line Companies located in Milwaukee,
WI, and Des Moines
Iowa. 2/24 is currently serving in Habbaniyah, Iraq
for another 7 month tour of duty. Aaron Rutter is a second class petty officer
serving as Supply Corpsman in the Battalion Aid Station serving 70 corpsman and
John Blasdell, USNR,
Petty Officer 3rd class, E-4, husband of Rachel Rutter,
(daughter of Priscilla Grayson Rutter) served in Kuwait Feb 16 to Nov 16 2007
in Navy Customs Battalion Sierra, Bravo Company, stationed in Ali Al Saleem Air
Base LSA, currently a 2nd Class Petty Officer, E5 assigned to NOSC Chicago on