Waterloo will celebrate its rich history honoring the fallen this Memorial Day weekend. As the official birthplace of the holiday, there will be several events for families to enjoy including demonstrations, ceremonies, and entertainment.
The history surrounding Memorial Day started right in central New York as early as the 1860’s when war hero, Henry C. Wells, wanted to honor the fallen by placing flowers on the graves of those who died during military service.
The practice was first made a tradition when the town of Waterloo repeated the practice of marching from cemetery to cemetery and laying flowers the following year. This made it the true birthplace of the commemorative holiday, according to Ave Bauder, a member of the Celebrate Commemorate Committee in Waterloo.
Waterloo will have several attractions for Memorial Day, starting off with a parade on Saturday and a classic car show, live music, cannon firing demonstrations, historical reenactments, and more.
A couple highlights of the event will be appearances by impersonators of Abe Lincoln and Frederick Douglas, as well as an ice cream eating contest for kids at 3:40 on Sunday.
There will also be an honor given to a community member that exemplifies values of volunteerism modeled after Memorial Day founder Henry C. Wells. This year it will be given to Lee Henry for his service on the 1966 committee that advocated for the congressional proclamation of Waterloo as the birthplace of Memorial Day.
To learn more about the events happening in Waterloo for Memorial Day weekend, information can be found at WaterlooNY.com.