Henry Carter Welles, druggist, co-founder of Memorial Day, Waterloo, NY, 1866. Photo courtesy Waterloo Memorial Day Museum
Waterloo: Birthplace of Memorial Day
In 1866 some Waterloo citizens, headed by General
John B. Murray and druggist Henry Welles, organized Decoration Day
to honor the community's Civil War dead. Graves were decorated in
remembrance of the sacrifices made by the soldiers and their
families; thus was the first Memorial Day observed in the United
States, as it has been ever since. Today there is a Memorial Day
Museum in a historic house on Main Street.
Originally submitted by: Thomas M. Reynolds, Representative (27th District).
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