“I remember when this holiday used to be called Decoration Day. Whatever we call it, it is a solemn holiday. If you value your freedom and this great nation, thank a serviceman,” said Benco Chairman and Chief Customer Advocate Larry Cohen Friday in his traditional holiday message to Benco associates.

Cohen, who served in the U.S. Army as a dental assistant,  offered in the voice message his rendition of sentimental ballad “We’ll Meet Again,” made famous in 1940 by British songstress Vera Lynn, known as the “Forces’ Sweetheart”. Here he is shown, being presented with the Certificate of Appreciation for Patriotic Civilian Service by Major Rick Coslett, D.M.D. on behalf of the Department of the Army July 31, 2014 at the Pittston, Pennsylvania home office of the nation’s largest privately owned dental distributor.

“We’ll Meet Again,” according to biography.com, was frequently heard on Lynn’s  radio show, Sincerely Yours, which became a favorite of soldiers serving overseas in WWII.

In 2009, Lynn made a “remarkable return to the British music charts,” according to biography.com. Ninety-two years old at the time, she became the oldest person to have the No. 1 top-selling album in the country. Today she lives in Sussex, England, where she serves as president of the Dame Vera Lynn Trust for Children with Cerebral Palsy, a charity she founded in 2001.


According to history.com, by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, the first major Memorial Day observance is held to honor those who died “in defense of their country during the late rebellion.”

Known to some as “Decoration Day,” mourners honored the Civil War dead by decorating their graves with flowers. On the first Decoration Day, (1868) General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery.

Find out which cities claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day (Hint: One’s in Pennsylvania.) and which location President Lyndon B. Johnson declared as the official birthplace of Memorial Day in 1966:  https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/civil-war-dead-honored-on-decoration-day

  1. Attend or view the televised broadcast of The National Memorial Day Concert, one of PBS’ highest-rated programs. Find out details about the multi-award-winning television event that has become an American tradition, featuring a star-studded lineup performing in tribute to all Americans who have sacrificed for our country at: pbs.org

  2. Attend a Memorial Day service or parade in Washington, D.C.: https://washington.org/things-to-do-this-memorial-day-weekend-washington-dc

Find a listing of those taking place in Luzerne and Lackawanna County in Pennsylvania at: NEPAFamily.com

  1. Learn ways to honor fallen heroes wherever you are: https://www.usaa.com/inet/wc/ent_all_memorialday_landing_mkt_ways_to_honor#tab1