Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

Why we celebrate Memorial Day: A history of the annual national commemoration

Saturday, May 28th, 2022

All Americans are asked to pause at 3:00 p.m. (local time) on the last Monday in May for a ‘‘National Moment of Remembrance”

Antioch to hold commemoration Monday morning

Fredericksburg National Cemetery. Source:

From and

Memorial Day is the national observance on the last Monday in May to honor those who sacrificed their lives while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Memorial Day commemorates the women and men who have died while in military service, and it will be observed this year on May 30, 2022, the last Monday in May as designated by Federal law (36 U.S.C. 116).

Begun in the late 1860’s as Decoration Day, spring flowers were distributed at graves to honor those fallen in the Civil War. By the end of the 19th century, ceremonies were being held in cities across the country. In 1966, the Federal Government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day. (Source: The Origins of Memorial Day, Department of Veterans Affairs )

According to, “some records show that one of the earliest Memorial Day commemorations was organized by a group of formerly enslaved people in Charleston, South Carolina less than a month after the Confederacy surrendered in 1865. in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day…which first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866…because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.”

According to, the origins of this day are difficult to prove “as over two dozen towns and cities lay claim to be the birthplace. Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War (which ended in 1865) and a desire to honor our dead. On the 5th of May in 1868, General John Logan who was the national commander of the Grand Army of the republic, officially proclaimed it in his General Order No. 11…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 churchyard in the land.’ Because the day wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle, the general called it, the date of Decoration Day.

On the first Decoration Day, 5,000 participants decorated the graves of 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried at Arlington Cemetery while General James Garfield made a historic speech.

New York was the first state to officially recognize the holiday in 1873. It was recognized by all northern states by 1890. Differently, the South refused to acknowledge the day and honored their dead, on separate days. This went on until after World War I when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war.

With the Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363), it is now observed on the last Monday in May by almost every state.”

Red Poppies on Memorial Day

Also, according to, “In 1915, inspired by the poem ‘In Flanders Fields,’ Moina Michael replied with her own poem: We cherish too, the Poppy red That grows on fields where valor led, It seems to signal to the skies That blood of heroes never dies.

She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. See more on the significance of the Red Poppy.

Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms. Michael. When she returned to France, she made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children’s League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later, and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help.

Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their ‘Buddy’ Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms. Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.”

Public Law 106-579, signed into law December 28, 2000, created the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance, and it designated 3:00 p.m. (local time) on Memorial Day each year as the ‘‘National Moment of Remembrance.” At this time all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps’.”

Antioch to Hold Annual Memorial Day Commemoration Monday Morning

Memorial Day in Antioch will begin Monday morning at 9:00 am with a processional, followed by a ceremony, then continue with a fundraising lunch at Smith’s Landing Seafood Grill. For details click, here.

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City, Boy Scouts offering Christmas “treecycling” in Antioch Jan. 8, 9, 15 & 16

Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

Now that the holiday season has ended, residents need a way to dispose of their Christmas tree. The City of Antioch and Boy Scouts of America offer Antioch residents and businesses several Christmas Treecycling options listed below.

  • Drop-off Locations: Drop off unflocked trees 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday  and Sunday, Jan. 8 - 9, and Jan. 15 - 16, 2022, in the designated areas at the Prewett Family Park parking lot on Lone Tree Way and at the Antioch Marina Overflow parking lot on L Street near W. Second. Please remove tree stands before drop-off.
  • Boy Scouts: The Boy Scouts will collect Christmas trees Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 8 – 9, and Jan. 15 – 16, 2022, by prearrangement ONLY. Please email the Boy Scouts at for details about when and where to have your tree collected. Donations of $10 or $1 per foot if taller than 8 feet for unflocked trees or $20 for flocked trees, payable to “BSA”, would be appreciated.
  • Green Container: Place unflocked trees in green yard waste container. Branches must be 6 inches or less in diameter and 3 feet or less in length. Cut off treetop. Remove tree stand. Lid must be closed.
  • Questions? Call customer service at (925) 685-4711.

Important Reminders

  • Please remove lights, ornaments, tinsel, nails and stands from trees.
  • No plastic bags.
  • As part of our recycling program, flocked, painted, fireproofed or artificial trees are not accepted.
  • Flocked trees can be collected curbside for a fee of $40 per tree. Pickups must be scheduled in advance.  Call (925) 685-4711. If cut to fit inside with the lid closed, flocked trees may be placed in the trash container at your complex.


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Antioch to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during annual event on Jan. 17

Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

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Happy New Year 2022 from The Herald!

Saturday, January 1st, 2022

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BART offers extended service for New Year’s Eve

Thursday, December 30th, 2021

For New Year’s Eve BART will run standard Friday service but with an extended closing time to help people celebrate the arrival of 2022 as well as to support workers who are relying on BART to get to and from their late-night shifts.

The regular last trains of the evening (Yellow, Blue, and Orange lines) will be dispatched from the end of their lines at midnight and then at 1:00am, we will run another set of last trains of the evening to serve 48 out of our 50 stations. The 1am dispatched trains will not serve the airport stations (OAK and SFO) but will stop at all other stations. These last trains will be timed to easily transfer to other lines to get home.

For those celebrating in downtown San Francisco, the last East Bay-bound train running through downtown San Francisco will be at around 1:30am and the last southbound train heading toward Millbrae will run through downtown San Francisco at 2:10am.

BART will offer overtime shifts to train operators to run extra event trains that can be dispatched between the one-hour gap in between the midnight and 1:00am dispatch.

Unlike previous years, BART will not run skip-stop service on New Year’s Eve. All trains will make their regular stops, except for the 1:00am dispatch which will not stop at SFO or OAK airports.

1:00 AM Extended Service Details

  • Only the Yellow line (Millbrae to Antioch) will run transbay. Riders heading from San Francisco towards Richmond, Berryessa, and Dublin will need to transfer. The train will not serve SFO.
  • Southbound Yellow line (Antioch to Millbrae) trains will run to Millbrae, stopping at all stations except SFO.
  • The Blue line will operate from Bay Fair to Dublin only. If travelling from San Francisco, Dublin-bound riders need to transfer at 12th Street to a Berryessa (Orange line) bound train and then transfer to a Dublin (Blue line) train at Bay Fair to complete their trip. These transfers will be timed meets to reduce travel time.
  • The Orange line (Richmond to Berryessa) will also run hourly to coincide with the other trains. Riders coming from San Francisco who need to transfer to a Richmond-bound train will do so at MacArthur; riders who need to transfer to a Berryessa-bound train (or Dublin) will do so at 12th Street. These transfers will be timed meets to reduce travel time. BART to OAK service will not be operating after regular BART hours.

Parking is free after 3:00pm on Friday. You can also leave your car overnight if necessary. Parking is free on weekends.

Stay Safe

Save these numbers in your phone:

  • 510-200-0992 to text BART Police dispatch to discreetly report criminal activity
  • 510-464-7000 to call BART Police in an emergency (It’s faster than calling 911)

We also offer the free the BART Watch app–a free mobile app available on the App Store and Google Play that allows you to quickly and discreetly report criminal or suspicious activity directly to BART Police.

You can reach the train operator using call buttons in each car. On old cars the button is at the end of the car, on new cars, the call button is by the side doors.

Note your train car number when contacting police or the train operator. The train number is located above the doors on the inside of each end of the train car.

BART will have extra safety staff working on New Year’s Eve to have more staff on trains, on platforms and inside stations.

Tips for Riding

Masks are required at BART, even if fully vaccinated. Spread out among all the cars. The first and last cars are often less crowded than those in the middle.

To save time and hassle, it is recommended you get a Clipper card in advance with round trip fare loaded. You can add Clipper to your mobile wallet and pay for BART fares with Google Pay and Apple Pay. All riders can immediately load funds through their wallet to their Clipper card.

Saturday Service on New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day, January 1, 2022, will be a regular Saturday schedule with service running 6am until midnight.

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CHP, allied agencies combine efforts for New Year’s weekend Maximum Enforcement Period

Wednesday, December 29th, 2021

Starting 6:01 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 2

By Jaime Coffee, Information Officer II, California Highway Patrol

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The ushering in of a new year brings with it the anticipation of a fresh start, positive changes, and healthy resolutions.  What it should not bring are headlines of tragedies caused by drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

To encourage safe travel for those who are out on the road, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will conduct a Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) starting at 6:01 p.m. on Friday, December 31, 2021, through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, January 2, 2022.

“Ringing in the new year should be an exciting time filled with celebration and hope,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said.  “To help keep the roadways safe through the holiday and beyond, our officers will be out in force to deter, detect, and remove impaired drivers.” 

During the previous New Year’s Day MEP, 56 people were killed in crashes in California.  Sadly, half of the vehicle occupants killed in the crashes were not wearing a seat belt.  During that same 78-hour MEP, CHP officers made 709 arrests for driving under the influence throughout the state.

To help bolster this year’s holiday traffic safety effort across state lines, the CHP will again partner with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and the Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota state patrols in a Western States Traffic Safety Coalition for the “Drive High, Get a DUI,” campaign.  With the focus of the New Year’s operation to identify and remove impaired drivers from the road, the CHP will have all available personnel on patrol, including Drug Recognition Evaluators to conduct evaluations of suspected impaired drivers.

With 362 arrests for DUI during the 54-hour Christmas Day Maximum Enforcement Period, California Highway Patrol officers averaged a DUI arrest nearly every nine minutes.

For daily MEP updates and other valuable traffic safety-related information, follow @CHP_HQ on Twitter.

The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.


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Merry Christmas from the Herald!

Saturday, December 25th, 2021


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Coping with the holiday blues: Kaiser Permanente shares tips

Friday, December 24th, 2021

Source: Kaiser Permanente

By Antonia Ehlers, PR and Media Relations, Kaiser Permanente Northern California

The holidays can be a joyful time filled with good tidings and cheer, but not everyone feels happy during the busy holiday season. Whether it’s the pressure of gift-giving, an increase in obligatory events or the worry of the COVID-19 pandemic, the holidays can spike an uptick of depression and anxiety. The holidays also leave many people feeling isolated and lonely.

The “holiday blues” is a real phenomenon that can lead to unhealthy behaviors, such as excessive drinking, overeating and insomnia.

“The holidays can be a very difficult time of the year,” said Curtis Arthur, MFT, director of addiction medicine and recovery services at Kaiser Permanente, Walnut Creek. “We see individuals on a consistent basis using substances as a way to manage their holiday stress. This coping mechanism can be problematic and have unintended negative consequences. Due to the difficulty associated with this time of year, having healthy options to manage one’s stress during the holidays is of paramount importance.”

Here are some stress management coping tips for the holidays:

  • Get support when mourning the loss of loved ones: The holidays can seem extra hard when you are facing the loss of a loved one. Seek out the support of family and friends who can help you during this difficult time. Or seek out a professional or grief support group. Try not to isolate yourself; it’s OK to ask for help and let others be there with you through the grieving process.
  • Be realistic: Try not to put pressure on yourself to create the perfect holiday for your family. Focus instead on the traditions that make holidays special for you. Discard the rituals that you don’t truly enjoy but may feel obligated to do, such as sending out holiday cards to everyone, extensively decorating or preparing a six-course meal.
  • Know your spending limit: Money worries are among the biggest causes of stress during the holiday season. Try to resist the “holiday hype” of retailers. Set a budget, and don’t spend more than you’ve planned. Resist buying gifts that you’ll spend the rest of the year trying to pay off.
  • Learn to say no: It’s OK to say “no” to events or gatherings that aren’t meaningful to you. This will give you more time to say “yes” to do the things that bring you the most joy.
  • Give something meaningful:You can show love and caring with any gift that is meaningful and personal. It doesn’t have to cost a lot. The gift of shared time or experiences creates lasting memories. A photo album or scrapbook of those experiences can also be meaningful.  You might want to express your appreciation with a handwritten letter. Use words instead of an expensive gift to let people know how important they are to you.
  • Get enough sleep: Try to maintain a regular sleep schedule. Get at least eight hours of sleep per night to ensure you are well-rested and energized, which can help improve your mood.
  • Exercise regularly: Even a brisk 10-minute walk a couple of times a day, can help to get your heart rate up and clear your head. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.
  • Limit alcohol.Taking care of yourself will help you deal with stressful situations during the holidays. Drinking too much can affect your mood and amplify negative feelings.

For more information about Kaiser Permanente Mental Health Services, visit


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