“The patriot's blood is the seed of Freedom's tree.” -Thomas Campbell
The Civil War was the deadliest war in U.S. history. Because of the large amount of casualties it prompted the establishment of the countries first national cemeteries. Although many communities had the same idea and independently initiated their own version of Memorial Day, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York the official birthplace of Memorial Day.
In 1866, shortly after the Civil War the surviving soldiers came back with many recollections and stories of their experience. Having given life and limb, blood and tears, these stories hit hard to a man named Henry Welles. Mr. Welles was a drugstore owner in Waterloo NY and he suggested in honor of these brave men, all the shops in town should close for one day. On the morning of May 5, the townspeople placed flowers and crosses on the graves of the soldiers buried in the Waterloo cemetery. This was a way for everyone to pay their respects to those who had lost their life.
Although many men survived, hard sacrifices were made and their heroism was not gone unnoticed. Retired Major General Jonathan A. Logan planned a ceremony for the soldiers who had survived the war. He paraded the veterans through town to the cemetery to display flags for their fallen comrades. This day was not designed to be a celebration but a memorial. This day in history was originally called Decoration Day.
In General Logan's proclamation of Memorial Day he declared: "The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country and during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit."
In 1868 these two ceremonies were joined and commemorated each year on May 30. It was not until 1882 that the name was changed to Memorial Day and all soldiers who had died in previous wars were honored as well. In 1971 President Richard Nixon declared Memorial Day a federal holiday that is observed on the last Monday in May.
Stor-All Storage would like to take this moment to not only thank all of our veterans, but to give a special thanks to those veterans that are a part of our Stor-All Family! To all that have served our country your sacrifice has not gone unappreciated. Thank you from the entire Stor-All Storage Family!
Cited History.com & Embassy of the United States of America