It's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of Memorial Day. Originally called Decoration Day, it was set aside to remember the sacrifice of those who died in the service of our country.
Henry Welles, a drugstore owner in Waterloo, N.Y., suggested that the shops in town close to honor Civil War soldiers buried in the town's cemetery.
Retired Major General Jonathan A. Logan had also planned a ceremony. He wanted to express gratitude for surviving veterans of the Civil War.
As a result, soldier and townsfolk joined together, marched to the cemetery and placed flags on their comrades graves.
That was in 1868.
In May of 1966, Waterloo was officially declared the rightful birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon B. Johnson. However, it wasn't until 1971 that the last Monday of May was declared an official federal holiday.
Laying aside all disputes of origin or history, today we celebrate sacrifice and are reminded that the struggle continues. It is a day to memorialize those who have fought and died and those that remain in harm's way in the service of their country.
Take a moment to consider the sacrifice of family and friends and the countless unknown others to whom we owe our gratitude.
NRA HONORS LOCAL STUDENT
Each year, 45 leaders among high school sophomores and juniors are chosen to attend a seven-day, expense-paid educational experience in Washington, D.C., know as the NRA Youth Education Summit. The summit encourages young adults to become active and knowledgeable U.S. citizens by learning about the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the federal government, and the importance of being active in civic affairs.
YES is open to any high school sophomore or junior with at least a 3.0 GPA. Each participant goes through an extensive application process which is comprised of essays about the Second Amendment, personal statements, transcripts and three personal recommendations.
We congratulate Tyler Clancy of Beaufort High for being selected from among hundreds of applicants to attend this years summit.
MEMORIAL DAY BOAT INSPECTIONS
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources will be conducting courtesy safety inspections at public boat landings along the coast over Memorial Day weekend. Among these, May 24 at the Chechessee River, Lemon Island Landing, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and May 25 at Mackay Creek, Pinckney Island Landing, 10 a.m. to noon.
Temperatures, wind and higher salinity levels among tidal changes have caused many species to hesitate before moving. This is evident in the lack of Cobia moving into normally active waters.
The sanctuary seems to be holding more offshore around the buoy and channel markers of the sounds. The "Nursery" at Broad River has yet to show the numbers nor sizes normally seen at this date. The season will move well into June, but for it to improve, weather and water conditions need to be more consistent.
For now anglers are being challenged by having to work a bit harder for their returns.
Among active species inshore are sheepshead, trout, spottail bass, flounder, Jack Crevalle, shark, whiting, drum and croaker, while offshore action remains a bit iffy. If you make the trip you may be rewarded over big water.
A number of wahoo were taken as well as dolphin, amberjack, Spanish mackerel and king mackerel this past week. At 50- o 75-foot depths, concentrations of cobia, grouper, tripletail and blackfish have been constant.
The wrecks and reefs are holding good numbers of bottom fish along the outer reaches, which is showing more action than directly on the structure itself. Temperature changes in these areas at depths as slight as two feet make a difference in catching fish or finding excuses.
Best hard body artificials at this time are gold spoons, white zara spooks, green/red bucktail jigs, and green/brown mirro lures. Best soft body varieties are split-tail grubs, soft plastic shrimp or minnows.
TACKLE TIP -- HOOKING BAIT
The best method for keeping bait active is to hook it properly. Shrimp will love longer if you place the hook in the tail using the smallest hook reasonable for your target species. It is best to hook baitfish -- mud minnows, pinfish, etc. -- through both lips. Use as little weight as possible or none at all. The heavier the weight the more burden you place on your bait, keep them lively with small hooks and light lead.