While many people will spend Memorial Day enjoying the warmer weather and grilling, others will spend the day at various cemeteries and monuments.
But do you know the history about Memorial Day? Here are some interesting facts about this holiday.
1. Memorial Day honors the men and women who died while serving in the U. S. military.
2. It is now observed on the last Monday of May. However, for many years it was observed on May 30th, regardless of the day that date fell on. In 1971, Memorial Day shifted from May 30th to the last Monday in May.
3. Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day for the practice of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths, and flags. In 1967, federal law declared “Memorial Day” the official name.
4. Memorial Day is known as the “unofficial” beginning of the summer season.
5. The federal government declared Waterloo, New York, as the official “birthplace of Memorial Day” because it hosted an annual event where residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.
6. Each year on Memorial Day, a national moment of remembrance or silence takes place at 3:00pm local time.
7. Originally, Memorial Day honored only those lives lost in the Civil Way, but that changed during World War I.
8. Flags are to be flown at half mast until noon. Then raised to full mast until sunset on Memorial Day.
9. Many people still wear poppies on Memorial Day stemming from a poem titled “In Flanders Fields” by Lieutenant John McCrae.
10. Even barbecues are a slight reflection of an earlier Memorial Day tradition which saw families hosting picnics at the graves of their deceased loved ones.
Whatever your traditions are on Memorial Day, please take time to remember those who lost their lives serving in the U.S. military, remember the families of these men & women, and remember to appreciate the freedoms that we have because of their sacrifices.