TOKYO, Japan - The melody of Reveille pierced the crisp, morning air as the American flag was hoisted by Yokota's Honor Guard.<br /> <br /> The 374th Airlift Wing hosted its annual Memorial Day Ceremony in front of the wing headquarters building, May 23.<br /> <br /> Attendees of the ceremony included Col. Mark August, 374th Airlift Wing commander; retired Army Sgt. 1st Class John Pierce, American Legion Post 2222 commander; Robert Moses, Veterans of Foreign War Post 9555 commander, and various community members.<br /> <br /> "As we observe Memorial Day, we remember Abraham Lincoln who said, 'That from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion,'" August said as he addressed a formation of Airmen and audience members.<br /> <br /> During the ceremony, a wreath of flowers was laid before a memorial honoring fallen service members. <br /> <br /> "This is a day of remembrance for all (who) have made the ultimate sacrifice for Americans to enjoy their freedom and way of life," Moses said. "We pay respect and honor all veterans who have served our great nation." <br /> <br /> Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, three years after the Civil War ended. The head of an organization of Union veterans established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.