Four images of Decoration Day

About These Images

In the image above, we see an unidentified band taking a break from the graveside services at Reinbeck's 1914 Decoration Day celebration. Decoration Day was an annual commemorative event in which townsfolk decorated the graves of any Civil War veterans who were buried in the local cemetary. Following World War I, this annual event evolved into the modern Memorial Day holiday in which veterans of all American wars are honored. In a typical Decoration Day ceremony of this period, the townsfolk would gather in the town square around 10:00 a.m. for a parade to the cemetary, usually led by the town band. At the cemetary, the townsfolk would decorate the graves of veterans and participate in a memorial ceremony. The band would then lead the parade back into town, where the participants would enjoy a picnic lunch. In the afternoon, there were often additional activities that included speeches, band and choral music, and various games and contests. The three images below show bands participating in Reinbeck's Decoration Day parades in 1908, 1910, and 1915.

10/25 /2015

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