The very first Memorial Day

Posted by Patrick Schurr | May 25, 2015

I hope that everyone took time today to remember our fallen heroes. I spoke at the Union Cemetery in Claysburg for their service this morning, then drove to Duncansville for their parade. Both events were very well done and well attended. It takes a lot of work to pull these things together so kudos to those who did all of the work. Although several states claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, the Boalsburg story of the daughter of a Union surgeon and the mother of a Union Private meeting at a country cemetery and forging a bond as they decorated the graves of their loved ones, is my favorite and the one I use in speeches on Memorial Day. The people from the town of Boalsburg heard about the chance meeting of the teenage girl and the mother and decided to establish a time for everyone to gather and walk to the cemetery with flowers and flags for the graves. This was in 1864 and is believed to be the very first Memorial Day.

-John

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