Laurel Hill Cemetery observes Memorial Day

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Since 1868 they've done Memorial Day at the Laurel Hill Cemetery the same way.

They dressed like they would have in the past and stopped at graves of those who've served our country greatly, like Civil War Union General George Meade.

It's all about preserving the tradition of the site of the first official Memorial Day service in all of Philadelphia more than 100 years ago.

Master of Ceremonies Andy Waskie said, "This is exactly what they did. It's not so much different than today. We are adding music, adding poems and wreaths. We stop at a few different locations which they also did to make sure their comrades were remembered. That was so important to them, to remember those that sacrificed and suffered for our nation that are no longer with us."

Throughout the historic cemetery actors and historians stopped to honor those who've made the ultimate sacrifice.

Cindy Griffis dressed as a mother of a fallen Civil War soldier would.

"This combines my love of history, the civil war and vintage fashion. I love to sew but it gives a different perspective of our history," she said.

The procession included dozens of those who simply wanted to pay their respects.

Many in attendance had ancestors who've been laid to rest here.

Bob Batley, of Westtown Township, said, "Yeah they did more than I did. I'm very proud."

Some said heading to a ceremony like this is least they can do.

"I think we need to recognize that people have made a commitment to serve us and we should honor that commitment by in turn recognizing them," said Anne Kauffman of Abington Township.
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