In 1866, following the Civil War, Henry Welles, a drugstore owner in Waterloo, New York, had an inspiration. That inspiration helped create Memorial Day, our most sacred national holiday. He suggested that all the shops in Waterloo close for a day to honor the soldiers who were buried in the Waterloo cemetery.

On the morning of May 5, 1866, the townspeople gathered at the cemetery and placed flowers, flags and crosses on the graves of the soldiers who had died during the Civil War.