It seems like a little-known fact, but in 1966, United States President Lyndon Johnson signed a proclamation naming Waterloo, New York as the birthplace of this national holiday. That was after Congress had adopted a resolution which officially recognized that the patriotic tradition of Memorial Day had begun 100 years earlier in this small community which is located southwest of Syracuse. There is now a Memorial Day museum in the town of just over 5,000 residents.
From 1948 until 1995, Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome was key to our country's air defense system. The former base was home to some of the most sophisticated fighter-interceptors and bombers of their day.
One of the most iconic patriotic tunes is 'Taps.' What began as an indicator of "Lights Out" on the battlefield has now become a beautiful tribute to service men and women at their funerals. This classic memorial song was actually written by a Utica native by the name of Daniel Butterfield!
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