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7 a.m. Stumper 5-26-14

Memorial Day is the day we honor those service men and women who have died in war.  It was originally called Decoration Day and has roots in the ways those killed in the Civil War were honored.  Today, Waterloo, New York is considered the official birthplace of Memorial Day, but many communities claim that title. 

How many communities claim to be birthplace of Memorial Day?

1. 10
2. 15
3. 25

The answer is 3. 25

According to the website for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, there were a number of springtime tributes to the war dead just after the Civil War.  The website says one of the first was in Columbus, Mississippi, on April 25, 1866.  A group of women in a cemetery to decorate the graves of confederate soldiers, placed flowers on the graves of union soldiers too.  The veterans' website says about 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day.  The official birthplace, however, was declared by Congress and President Lyndon Johnson in 1966.  The title went to Waterloo, New York and there was a ceremony there on May 5, 1866.  Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff.  Those who support Waterloo as the birthplace say any earlier observances were informal, not community wide, or just a one-time event.

 
 
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