When I was younger and still living in the little village of Philmont, NY, the whole town shut down on Memorial Day (we still called it Decoration Day - even in the 1960's). We'd have a parade which ended on the town ballfield, and we'd have the ceremony which always included someone reading "General Logan's Order". It seemed as though the whole town always showed up, although I know that wasn't true. But I can clearly recall all the veterans who were there, most wearing American Legion or VFW caps. It made a great impression on me that has not diminished over the years.
And so it transpired over my life that I became eligible for American Legion and VFW membership and joined both outfits. In one way it is a shame that I did become eligible, since this means wars happened while I was on active duty. But in another way it brought me in touch with some really great Americans - those of the WWII generation who are leaving us more and more, every day.