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But though those honored may have lost their lives far from the city, the effects of their loss has brought grief to all communities, to all classes, ethnicities and nationalities, forming a common bond between the citizenry.

The stark simplicity of an honor roll listing the names of the fallen local heroes can affect the viewer with a power equal to a more complex and awe-inspiring memorial.

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This process caused neighborhoods to have a stake in their local monuments, and many were dedicated with great pageantry before crowds of enormous size.

With the notable exception of our Revolutionary War memorials, these monuments honor events that took place elsewhere.

Memorial Day, once known as “Decoration Day,” has been celebrated nationally on the last Monday in May since an act of Congress in 1971, though it has its origins in the post–Civil War era.

The first “Decoration Day” was proclaimed by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, on May 5, 1868 and was observed later that month on May 30.

They are situated in all precincts of the city, from major civic centers to local residential neighborhoods, and they often serve as focal points for civic life in these communities, while honoring those citizens who sacrificed their lives in service of their country.