Waterloo 'Celebrates, Commemorates' 150th Memorial Day
The Village of Waterloo is marking their 150th Anniversary observance of Memorial Day this
weekend with much of the town center in red, white and blue. According to Committee Co-Chair
Dave Duprey, Civil War re-enactors are in town from all over the country for a remembrance
ceremony tonight at 8 PM and throughout the weekend.
“It’s a very nice ceremony. They’ll have some speakers, they light the luminaries, the Civil
War Soldiers fire their cannons and muskets.”
The weekend’s theme is “Celebrate, Commemorate”. Although, other areas in the U.S. claim to
be the birthplace of Memorial Day, but Duprey says research conducted 50 years ago confirms the
distinction belongs to Waterloo. He says Pharmacist Henry Wells originally presented the
idea to General John Murray in 1866.
“We have an American Civil War Memorial here in Waterloo where 58 soldiers from Waterloo died in the Civil War. And when the Veterans came back, Mr. Wells and Mr. Murray decided it was fitting that we held a commemoration who did not come back from the Civil War.”
A more celebratory Parade will be held at 11 AM on Saturday. However, Duprey says Memorial
Day will have a more solemn tone.
“We decorate the graves at the cemeteries and have ceremonies there and then a parade at 4 (PM) in the afternoon and then ceremonies in the (LaFayette) park with dignitaries, speeches and gun salutes and all those things.”
Events over the weekend will include a huge celebration parade on Saturday at 11 AM, arts and
crafts, entertainment and many activities including an antique car show. Horse and wagon
rides as well as train and boat rides will also be offered. Click here for the complete schedule.