Waterloo NY is a village in Seneca County, east of Geneva and is located in between the two main Finger Lakes, Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake (about 74 miles from Binghamton) ..
On a spring day in 1865, Waterloo, NY druggist Henry C. Welles watched as a lone widow walked to the cemetery to place flowers on the grave of her deceased Civil War soldier husband. How soon they forget, Welles thought, resolving to do something to make sure that those who gave their lives in defense of their country would not be forgotten. Working with Gen. John B. Murray, Welles planned the first Memorial Day in Waterloo in 1866, and for 150 consecutive years, Waterloo’s citizens have remembered. With parades, prayers and ceremonies.
Joe Crouk stands in front of the Memorial Day Museum in Waterloo. Post-Standard file photo
On May 26, 1966, that consistency inspired President Lyndon Johnson to sign a Presidential Proclamation recognizing Waterloo as the official Birthplace of Memorial Day.