As we enter Memorial Day weekend, we take the time to remember the men and women who have died while serving in the country’s armed forces.
Originally called Decoration Day, the tradition of the holiday was born after the Civil War. On Decoration Day, the graves of Civil War soldiers were decorated with flowers. However, after the devastation of World War I, the holiday was expanded to honor all soldiers who died during military service. Although several cities have claimed to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, only the city of Waterloo, New York has been officially recognized. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a presidential proclamation naming Waterloo as the birthplace of the holiday.
Image: Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)
Today the tradition continues as the graves of fallen soldiers are decorated with American flags and flowers. In this time of social distancing, celebrations will look different than usual. Although you may not be able to visit the graves of your military ancestors, there are still other ways you can honor them.
This Memorial Day weekend learn more about their lives by researching military and pension records. Go beyond names and dates and discover the role your ancestors had in making history. Check your Record Matches on your Geni profiles to see what information awaits.
You can also explore MyHeritage’s entire collection of military records to see what new records you may discover. From now until May 26, MyHeritage is offering free access to their military records collection, so be sure to take advantage of this special limited time offer.
Don’t forget to share the stories about your military ancestors on Geni by adding more details to your relatives’ Geni profiles. The About section of a profile is the perfect place to write in more detail about your ancestor’s life.
Who are your military ancestors? Share them with us in the comments below!