It was 1866 and the Unit­ed States was recov­er­ing from the long and bloody Civ­il War between the North and the South. Sur­viv­ing sol­diers came home, some with miss­ing limbs, and all with sto­ries to tell. Hen­ry Welles, a drug­store own­er in Water­loo, New York, heard the sto­ries and had an idea. He sug­gest­ed that all the shops in town close for one day to hon­or the sol­diers who were killed in the Civ­il War and were buried in the Water­loo ceme­tery. On the morn­ing of May 5, the towns­peo­ple placed flow­ers, wreaths and cross­es on the graves of the North­ern sol­diers in the ceme­tery. At about the same time, Retired Major Gen­er­al Jonathan A. Logan planned anoth­er cer­e­mo­ny, this time for the sol­diers who sur­vived the war. He led the vet­er­ans through town to the ceme­tery to dec­o­rate their com­rades’ graves with flags. It was not a hap­py cel­e­bra­tion, but a memo­r­i­al. The towns­peo­ple called it Dec­o­ra­tion Day.

In 1868 the north­ern states com­mem­o­rat­ed the day on May 30. The south­ern states com­mem­o­rat­ed their war dead on dif­fer­ent days. Chil­dren read poems and sang civ­il war songs and vet­er­ans came to school wear­ing their medals and uni­forms to tell stu­dents about the Civ­il War. Then the vet­er­ans marched through their home towns fol­lowed by the towns­peo­ple to the ceme­tery. They dec­o­rat­ed graves and took pho­tographs of sol­diers next to Amer­i­can flags. Rifles were shot in the air as a salute to the north­ern sol­diers who had giv­en their lives to keep the Unit­ed States togeth­er.

In 1882, the name was changed to Memo­r­i­al Day and sol­diers who had died in pre­vi­ous wars were hon­ored as well. In the north­ern Unit­ed States, it was des­ig­nat­ed a pub­lic hol­i­day. In 1971, along with oth­er hol­i­days, Pres­i­dent Richard Nixon declared Memo­r­i­al Day a fed­er­al hol­i­day on the last Mon­day in May.

Chap­man Wealth Man­age­ment salutes those who have died in the ser­vice of our coun­try, those cur­rent­ly serv­ing, and the fam­i­lies who have made great sac­ri­fices for our free­dom. We con­tin­ue to live in the great­est coun­try in the world. On this Memo­r­i­al Day, take a few min­utes to con­sid­er the bless­ings you have, cel­e­brate the rela­tion­ships in your life, both fam­i­ly and friends, and thank a vet­er­an.
Then, on Tues­day, call us to begin work on your future suc­cess! God Bless Amer­i­ca!