Did you know that Waterloo, New York is the 'Birthplace of Memorial Day'? Residents of Waterloo claim this honor because of a 160 year old cottonwood tree that bears the blade of a Union soldier.

Legend has it that young James Johnson came out of the farm field he was working in, hooked his scythe into the sapling and went off to fight in the Civil War. Sargent James Johnson never returned. Time passed and as the tree grew it literally held onto the scythe over the years as a memorial to the soldier.

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According to Roadside America, other soldiers, from other wars, have left their scythes in the very same tree. Over the years the tree grew taller and fatter and as it did, the scythes were slowly engulfed by the tree with only the tip of the blade remaining visible.  It's what trees do. You won't believe some of the other things tress have devoured.

Memorial Day weekend is here and yes, we will get together over some beers and burgers but lets also take the time to honor James Johnson and our military personnel who have died while serving the United States of America.

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