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Memorial Day is much more than just a three-day weekend. The holiday was borne as a response to the unprecedented bloodshed of the civil war; in which, an estimated 620,000 men lost their lives in the line of duty. The devastating effect this had on communities throughout the country led to spontaneous commemorations of the dead.

Traditions of decorating headstones to honor the fallen started when women from Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, put flowers on soldiers’ graves following the Battle of Gettysburg. Because of this practice, the holiday was originally called Decoration Day until the federal law declared “Memorial Day” the official name in 1967.

To help continue this long-standing tradition, we would like to invite you to stop in on Memorial weekend and pick up a free rose to place on the grave of a veteran in your local cemetery. If you don’t have a deceased family member who is a veteran, you’re more than welcome to take a flower and decorate the headstone of ANY solider to commemorate the memory of our fallen heroes and bring awareness to the real reason we celebrate Memorial Day.

Come by to receive a rose from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, or 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday. There are 250 flowers available, so be sure to stop in early while supplies last (limit 1 flower per family). Participants are encouraged to take pictures of you and your families decorating the graves and post them on our facebook page, or send them via email to wisconsindairyland@dellsfudge.com. We would love to help honor a veteran you know by sharing your photos.

We’ve teamed up with the Memorial Day Flower Foundation (MDFF) to place 150 additional roses on headstones at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day. The non-profit organization has been doing this since 2011 with over 250 participating businesses in hundreds of communities across the country to thank those who have served and remember the many sacrifices made for the protection and welfare of our nation. For more information about MDFF visit: http://memorialdayflowers.org/.

CLICK HERE for more details and updated event information.