Visit The National Memorial Day Museum In Waterloo

WATERLOO - Don’t forget to visit the National Memorial Day Museum at 35 East Main Street during Celebrate Commemorate, May 24-27.  The 14th annual event honors America’s men and women in the military by celebrating the freedom they fought to preserve, and then, on May 30, pausing to commemorate the sacrifices by those who “gave all” in service to our country.

In 2006-2007, the National Memorial Day Museum, just a short walk from the Cayuga/Seneca Canal in Waterloo, NY, underwent a complete make-over of its interpretive exhibits to better tell the story of the history of Memorial Day to a national audience. Visitors are immersed in a story that was born out of the unimaginable death toll of the Civil War and are taken, room by room, panel by panel through the story of the origins of Memorial Day; those responsible for its founding in Waterloo in 1866; and the changing face and meaning of this somber holiday down to the 20th century.

Actors recount historical events on the front porch of the National Memorial Day Museum.  Photo by Greg Cotterill, Finger Lakes News Radio.

Waterloo is the only federally recognized birthplace of Memorial Day and we are proud to interpret this somber and reflective holiday for the many visitors who visit the museum and our beautiful Finger Lakes location.

In this 60th anniversary of the cessation of hostilities of the Korean Conflict, plan to visit the Korean War Room. Here artifacts and exhibits from that conflict help visitors understand the sacrifices of those who fought.

The National Memorial Day Museum is maintained by the Waterloo Library and Historical Society, which is beginning a capital campaign in June 2013 to restore the roof of the Museum’s attractive brick home.

The National Memorial Day Museum is open from noon to 5p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  Admission is free. Donations gratefully accepted.

For more information about Celebrate Commemorate events, go to

The 147th consecutive commemoration of Memorial Day will be on Thursday, May 30. It will include prayer services, and the official Memorial Day parade at 6 pm, followed by ceremonies in Lafayette Park. Major General Karen Dyson, first female director of the Army Budget, will be the featured speaker.

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