Boalsburg - The Birthplace of Memorial Day
Do you know that Boalsburg lays claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day? How did Memorial Day come about? Three years after the Civil War ended and originally called Decoration Day, it was a day to decorate the graves of the fallen Soldiers, mourn their death, and honor their sacrifice. In 1971, Congress officially declared it a National Holiday named Memorial Day to include all fallen Soldiers of all American wars. In 2000, Congress passed The National Moment of Rememberance Act which encourages all Americans to pause at 3pm "for a minute of silence to remember and honeor those who have died in service to the nation." Learn more here: https://www.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/history
Memorial Day in Boalsburg, PA.
Though the first Decoration Day was thought to be in 1868, local tributes to fallen Soldiers had actually started sooner.
In Boalsburg, in 1864, Emma Hunter and a friend picked flowers. They were going to place them on the her Father's grave. Her father, Dr. Reuben Hunter, died from Yellow Fever while treating Union soldiers during the Civil War. On their way to the cemetery, the two young girls met Mrs. Elizabeth Myers, whose son had died on the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg. The girls shared the flowers and put them on both the graves. They agreed that the next year they would return with enough flowers to decorate the graves of all who had died in the war. Word spread of their plans, and the following year many villagers joined them.
The Pennsylvania Military Museum is located in Boalsburg. It has roots in the many reunions of World War I soldiers near its present site. So, though it's unfortunate that this year, due to the uncertainty of covid-19, the festivities that are normally celebrated in Boalsburg, are cancelled, you can still go to the Military Museum and consider the significance and meaning of Decoration Day (Memorial Day) as you walk the track or sit peacefully on one of the benches.
Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, is located in Centre County. Boalsburg is just a few miles from Penn State University yet is a quaint and charming village with locally owned boutiques and shoppes all along Main St. The Diamond in Boalsburg is a nice spot for strolling and enjoying seeing others in the community. Learn more about Boalsburg as An American Village.