This past weekend, Rep. O’Neill was proud to participate in the Bridgewater, Southbury and Washington Memorial Day parades, alongside some distinguished veterans and municipal leaders. Rep. O’Neill joined the communities in remembering their fallen veterans and showing appreciation for their service.
Memorial Day was officially celebrated as Decoration Day for the first time three years after the end of the Civil War. Many local celebrations had been held before then, but it was Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, leader of a Union veterans’ organization, who issued a proclamation and arranged the first official ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 1868.
While many states held their own observances for years, Memorial Day was not declared a national holiday until 1971, when an act of Congress scheduled it on the last Monday in May and designated it as a day of thanks and remembrance for fallen veterans of all wars.