The Civil War was the deadliest conflict in American history and the country’s first national cemeteries were built as a result. In the aftermath of the war in the late 1860s, various U.S. towns and cities began to hold springtime memorials at these cemeteries, laying flowers on and praying over the graves of the Civil War’s fallen soldiers. This was the origin of Memorial Day.
Although it’s debatable on which city or town was the first to celebrate the holiday, Waterloo, NY was declared the official birthplace of Memorial Day – Waterloo hosted an annual community event beginning in 1866. Memorial Day became an official federal holiday in 1971.
The National Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C. and Memorial Day Parade in Gettysburg, PA are two of the most popular and historical celebrations in the country.
Memorial Day is a great holiday because it gives us the opportunity to collectively honor our fallen soldiers, as well as celebrate life with our loved ones. For Memorial Day 2021, we bow our heads and give our eternal thanks to those who gave their lives in service to our country.