The origins of Memorial Day stretch back to the period shortly after the Civil War. The massive casualty count of the Civil War required the federal government to establish the first national cemeteries, and American citizens began to hold ceremonies in the spring in honor of these soldiers and their sacrifice. During these ceremonies, citizens would travel to national cemeteries to pray, and lay flowers at soldier’s graves.
Originally known as “Decoration Day,” the first of these tribute ceremonies was held in Waterloo, New York on May 5th, 1866. 100 years later, the federal government declared that city to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, and in 1971 made it a national holiday.
Nowadays, Memorial Day is a 3-day weekend typically celebrated by honoring fallen soldiers and holding outdoor barbecues. In the Santa Clarita Valley, Eternal Valley Memorial Park will be holding their annual remembrance ceremony on Monday, May 5th at 10:00 a.m. The Boy Scouts, Brownies, Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts will be placing more than 5,000 flags at the graves of veterans and the ceremony will be kicked off by the Condor Squadron and their AT-6 airplanes flying overhead.
After the remembrance ceremony, attendees will be prompted to head over to the Veterans Memorial Wall where the 850 names inscribed on the wall will be read off one-by-one.