Side A: Since 1868, Ironton’s annual Memorial Day parade has recognized those in Lawrence County who died while defending our country’s freedom. This was the same year in which the Grand Army of the Republic established May 30 as Decoration Day. Originally established to commemorate soldiers who died during the Civil War, the parade now honors those who served during all the nation’s wars. Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress in 1971. The Ironton event is recognized as the oldest Memorial Day parade in Ohio and the oldest continuing Memorial Day observance in the nation.