May 5, 1866 — Waterloo, New York
On May 6th, 1866 the town of Waterloo, New York decided to honor the soldiers that had fallen in the Civil War by flying their flags at half mast and by decorating the graves of those who had fallen. On this day veterans led processions to three different cemeteries marching to martial music. At each cemetery General John B Marshall gave a lengthy sermon on the dedication and sacrifice shown by these soldiers.
Little did they know that this show of gratitude would be recognized and adopted as a national holiday by the United States of America. Little did they know how many others would be sacrificed in the name of freedom through the following years, and how deeply rooted this tradition of honor would become.