On May 30, 1868, roughly 5,000 people gathered at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the Civil War soldiers buried there. Ohio Congressman and future president James A. Garfield gave a speech. The Ohioan had served as a major general during the Civil War. Brig. Gen. Halbert E. Paine, who lost his left leg during the war, read Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address as part of the ceremony. Afterward, attendees decorated the graves of more than 20,000 Civil War soldiers who died during the war. This event was the first national effort to honor U.S. soldiers who died in the service of their country.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/blog/a-look-back-the-origins-of-memorial-day/