As we reflect on the freedoms we enjoy each day, we would like to honor our military as we know that many individuals have paid the ultimate price so that we may live in freedom. Here are some interesting facts about Memorial Day…
- Memorial Day is a national holiday set aside to honor military service members who died fighting in a war
- Memorial Day is sometimes confused with Veterans Day. On Veterans Day, November 11, we thank and honor those who served in the military.
- Major General John A. Logan, a Civil War veteran, founded Memorial Day in 1868. Following the Civil War, a small group of women went to a cemetery in Columbus, Mississippi and honored the Soldiers of both the North and the South by putting flowers on their graves.
- Memorial day was initially called Decoration Day because graves were decorated with flowers and flags.
- Poppies, a symbol of death in war, have been worn on Memorial Day since 1915 to remember the Fallen.
- Flags In takes place at Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Soldier’s and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery every Friday before Memorial Day. The 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) honors the Fallen by placing American flags before the gravestones and niches of service members buried there.
- It takes approximately three hours to place the flags in front of more than 260,000 gravestones. The Old Guard soldiers remain in the cemetery throughout the weekend to ensure that a flag remains at each gravestone.
- Every year on Memorial Day, the president of the United States gives a speech and places a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at the Arlington National Cemetery.
- In an effort to remind and re-education Americans about the true meaning of Memorial Day, the National Moment of Remembrance on Memorial Day was established by Congress in 2000. Americans are asked to pause at 3 p.m. local time and remember the Fallen.