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A look back at America's first Memorial Day

Image of soldiers during the Civil War.
Image of soldiers during the Civil War.

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It’s about as American as apple pie. The official kickoff of the long summer. As American as a cookout with hot dogs and hamburgers.

Almost as American as Independence Day, but where July 4th commemorates our victory over the British, Memorial Day, as it was first observed, remembered the dead of the Civil War. And there were a lot of them to be remembered: upwards of 600,000. 

Charles McGuigan has the story of the first Memorial Day.