[StBernard] Memorial Day/ Canary Islands Day

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Tue Jun 2 21:07:33 EDT 2009

Vietnam Veterans Association and Los Islenos Society observe Memorial
Day/ Canary Islands Day

Vietnam Veterans Association of St. Bernard and Los Islenos Heritage
and Cultural Society

celebrated Memorial Day and Canary Islands Day on Sunday, May 25, 2009
with a Mass in St.

Bernard Church and a ceremony in St. Bernard Cemetery. Memorial Day
commemorates the

Military service of Americans who served their country in all branches of
the military, particularly

those who died in battle. Canary Islands Day commemorates the anniversary
of the first elections

in the Canaries following the dictatorship of Francisco Franco in Spain
from 1939 - 1975.

The Vietnam Veterans group initiated the tradition of observing Memorial
Day in St. Bernard Cemetery in 2000. St. Bernard Cemetery is the oldest
burial ground below New Orleans. Jose Mesa

died in 1787 and became the first recorded interment in the cemetery.
Veterans of the American

Revolutionary War, the Battle of New Orleans, Mexican American War, Civil
War, Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict,
and Vietnam are buried in St. Bernard Cemetery.

Memorial Day originated in Columbus, Mississippi as Decoration Day in
April, 1866. The ladies of Columbus "decorated" the graves of Union and
Confederate War dead buried in Friendship Cemetery.

Decoration Day was officially recognized in 1868 and became a national
observance, ultimately known

as Memorial Day. Columbus, Georgia also claims to have started Decoration

The Canary Islands were the first colony of Spain and have been a Spanish
province for several hundred years. During the Franco dictatorship, all
appointments of town councils, mayors and governors were made by the
Spanish central government in Madrid. The first elections since 1939

were held throughout the Canaries on May 30, 1982. This anniversary has
become an important

annual event in the Canary Islands, wherein the distinct cultural identity
of the islands is celebrated. Consequently, May 30th is celebrated
annually as Canary Islands Day.

The Reverend John Arnone, Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes - St. Bernard
Church Parishes, celebrated

Mass and delivered an invocation and benediction during the cemetery
service. Hilton Preau led the

Vitenam Veterans Association as president. Los Islenos Society President
Dorothy Benge led the Isleno


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