Memorial Day Fun Facts

Arlington-Cemetery 04.15.95Memorial Day is more than a chance to spark up your BBQ grill and get the year’s first sunburn.  It’s a way to remember our patriotic heroes who sacrificed their lives to allow us a life of freedom. There are numerous family gatherings being held and celebrations happening all over the country, which is all good, but I wanted to give you a few Memorial Day fun facts:

  • General John Alexander Logan ordered the Memorial Day holiday to be observed shortly after the American Civil War.
  • Memorial Day was first called “Decoration Day” because of the practice of decorating soldier’s graves with flags, flowers, and wreaths.
  • Memorial Day was declared a federal holiday in 1971.
  • New York was the 1st state to officially recognize Memorial Day.
  • It’s celebrated on the last Monday in May.
  • Red Poppies are recognized as the Memorial Day Flower.
  • On Memorial Day, the flag should be at half-staff until noon, then raised to the top of the staff.
  • The holiday is a franchise.
  • Arlington National Cemetery (located in Arlington, Virginia), is famous for military soldiers placing small American flags at the head of each gravestone during this holiday.  Back in the day, in 1995, I was on a trip for honor’s students and was chosen to participate in the wreath laying ceremony for the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.”  It was a humbling experience for an 8th grader and a milestone event I will never forget.  The picture below is of “the chosen ones” walking up the stairs to meet the Arlington soldiers.  The picture above was taken of the soldiers as we met them at the top of the stairs.  Pretty fabulous!

Arlington Cemetery Tomb of the Unknown SoldierRemember to take a break from the beginning of the summer time fun in the sun and use these Memorial Day fun facts to cherish the real meaning.  Have a fun and safe holiday!

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