Memorial Day: What You May Not Know

27 May
English: Members of the 3rd Infantry Regiment ...

English: Members of the 3rd Infantry Regiment (Old Guard) carry the casket of Frank Buckles to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Memorial Day is the day that the federal government set aside to officially recognize the men and women who have given their lives in service to their country.  Now, I know not everyone supports the military, and I suppose I have to be okay with it, since thousands of men and women died to give you that right.  I, however, DO support our troops, past and present.  I may not always support their actions, or the intent of those giving the orders, but I do support the men and women who sacrifice their time, health, and all too often their lives for my right to think, act and talk any damn way I see fit.

So, in honor of this federally appointed holiday, and countless hours of paid time off of work for millions of Americans, I have compiled a list of things you may not have known about Memorial Day:

  • Memorial Day is to acknowledge those in the military who lost their lives during an American war, not veterans who died during peacetime.
  • Memorial Day was originally called “Decoration Day” because of the decoration of graves that occurred.
  • The red poppy is a traditional symbol of this day, and in 1924, an artificial poppy factory was created in Pittsburgh, PA, and employed veterans who needed work.
  • On the Thursday before Memorial Day, soldiers from the 3rd U.S.
    (The Old Guard) place small American flags at each of the more
    than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They patrol the
    cemetery 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag
    remains standing.  This tradition, called “Flags In”, has been in place since 1948.
  • While the original date was chosen because it did not fall on the anniversary of any particular American battle, in 1968, Memorial Day was moved from its traditional May 30 date to the
    last Monday in May in order to ensure a three-day weekend.
  • A Moment of Remembrance” takes place nationwide every Memorial Day at 3 p.m. local time, and this is not optional.  In December 2000, Congress passed a law requiring Americans to pause at 3
    p.m. local time on Memorial Day to remember and honor the fallen.

I hope you enjoyed these facts about Memorial Day, I know I learned a few new things while researching.  If you’re wondering why I didn’t link any ‘proof’ to any of my facts, it’s because a simple Google search will show you all you need to know.  And it’s a holiday.  And I’m lazy.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone.

3 Responses to “Memorial Day: What You May Not Know”

  1. spiritchild1972S July 19, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    That was treally fascinating. I love learning about this stuff. In the UK it is called Rememberance Day. And the Poppy thing started here in 1915 by two women trying to raise money for treatment and help for the soliders left maimed and suffering from the effects of war. In my country of NZ iit is called Anzac Day, we have a parade of all serving and ex service men and women to pay their respects to the Dead. It commemorates them and ours and Australias first day of action in WW1. Anzac stands for Austrlia, New Zealand, Army Corp. April 25th is when we have it. It starts with the Dawn Service where all soldiers observe a Stand To. As a chaplain lays Wreaths etc…the lone trumpeter does the Dawn Chorus and it makes me cry every single time. Nowadays it starts with the WW1 then 2 then other soldier deaths. As it is in the UK and NZ/Oz it is heart breaking. War is pointless and is started by fools, and fought by heroes. Regardless of your political beliefs you must support your troops. They are doing what they think is right and that is our freedom. Even if the ideas on who is the bad guy is skewed. These men women and dogs are risking life and limb for an ideal. It is up to us to take care of them and support them. Everytime I hear of another death of a solider in ANY country. I thank them by name. Because they have names and families. People forget that.


    • KraftedKhaos July 19, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

      That is true, and thank you for posting this information about the other countries, too! It helps to remind us that we ALL have lost family, friends, loved ones because of war, and that it’s something that every nation has suffered, not just our own!


      • spiritchild1972S July 20, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

        Unfortunately there are three things we all have common. We all pay taxes, we all die and we all have wars. Two of things aren’t even legal lol


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