Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a day of remembering all who have died in the service of the United States of America. In May 1966, Waterloo, New York was officially declared the birthplace of the holiday, though more than two dozen cities and towns claim to be its birthplace.
The holiday was a result of the civil war and was proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11.
“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 during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.
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