SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Members of the 114th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment laid wreaths at the Republic Mound at Oakridge Cemetery in Springfield on Memorial Day morning.

The wreaths memorialize those who served.

While Memorial Day honors all American armed service members who died in war, the Oakridge Cemetery ceremony focuses on the early meaning of the day.

“We’d like to make an effort here to honor the original meaning of Memorial Day, to honor the Civil War veterans,” Richard Schachtsiek, the colonel of the 114th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment, said.

Memorial Day was started in 1868 as Decoration Day by Illinois native General John A. Logan of the Union Army. While leading the Grand Army of the Republic, he issued a proclamation to remember Union civil war veterans who lost their lives in battle.

Logan’s General Order 11, which designated the day as Decoration Day, was read at the ceremony.

General Order No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868

The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.” What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

Excerpt of John A. Logan’s General Order No. 11, issued May 5, 1868