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Made in USA

American Flags made entirely from products and materials that are certified “Made in America”

5 Facts You Might Not Know About Memorial Day

May 20, 2023

Memorial Day, celebrated on the last Monday in May, is a significant holiday in the United States that honors and remembers the men and women who have sacrificed their lives while serving in the country’s armed forces. While many people associate Memorial Day with barbecues, parades, and the unofficial start of summer, there are several lesser-known aspects of this important day. Here are five fascinating facts you might not know about Memorial Day.

1. Its origins trace back to the Civil War:

Memorial Day has its roots in the aftermath of the American Civil War. The first recognized Memorial Day, then known as Decoration Day, was observed on May 30, 1868. General John A. Logan, the national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, proclaimed the day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of fallen Union soldiers with flowers. It wasn’t until after World War I that the holiday expanded to include honoring American military personnel who died in all wars.

2. Waterloo, New York, is the official birthplace of Memorial Day:

Although various communities claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, Waterloo, New York, is officially recognized as its birthplace. In 1966, Congress passed a resolution designating Waterloo as the birthplace of Memorial Day. The town’s annual Memorial Day parade and ceremony remain an essential part of the town’s traditions, attracting visitors from far and wide.

3. The “National Moment of Remembrance”:

In 2000, Congress established the “National Moment of Remembrance” as an official part of Memorial Day observances. At 3:00 PM local time on Memorial Day, Americans are encouraged to pause for a minute of silence to honor and remember the fallen. This act of unity serves as a reminder of the true meaning behind the holiday and provides an opportunity for reflection and gratitude.

4. The red poppy is a symbol of remembrance:

Inspired by the famous World War I poem, “In Flanders Fields,” written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, the red poppy flower became a symbol of remembrance. The poem describes how poppies grew amidst the graves of soldiers in Flanders, a region in Belgium heavily impacted by the war. Today, wearing a red poppy is a common way to pay tribute to fallen soldiers and support veterans.

5. The Arlington National Cemetery connection:

Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia is an iconic resting place for military personnel, and it plays a significant role in Memorial Day traditions. Since 1948, soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as “The Old Guard,” have placed American flags at each gravestone within the cemetery before Memorial Day weekend. This solemn tradition, known as “Flags-In,” ensures that every fallen service member is remembered and honored.

As you enjoy the long weekend and partake in Memorial Day festivities, it’s crucial to remember the true purpose of the holiday. Memorial Day is a time to honor and pay respect to the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the United States armed forces. These lesser-known facts about Memorial Day add depth to our understanding of the holiday’s history and significance, reminding us to commemorate the fallen heroes who fought for our freedoms.