There are several cities and towns in the United State that claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, but only one was proclaimed to be so by a US President.

This weekend and Monday specifically is about remembering and honoring America's fallen heroes: the brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice fighting for the freedoms you and I enjoy everyday. And it turns out that tradition started right here in the state of New York.

A few hours west of the Capital Region, among the Finger Lakes, is a town called Waterloo; the town the President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed was the birthplace of Memorial Day when he designated the day as a National Holiday in 1966. In his proclamation he writes '...Congress has officially recognized that the patriotic tradition of observing Memorial Day began one hundred years ago in Waterloo, New York.'

Now, there are towns across the nation who also claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, including Boalsburg, Pennsylvania and Columbus, Georgia. You can read more about them in this New York Times article.

That said, regardless of where this holiday is founded, it really is not a competition. But more of a common thread of cities and towns across the USA. One of appreciation and gratitude for those who have kept us free.

Remember to remember this Memorial Day. And God Bless the USA.