To Americans, Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer – for many, the weekend is extended by a day off, and most of the kids are already on their break. While most of us know that today is the day that we are supposed to pause in remembrance of the men and women fallen in U.S battle, the true meaning usually gets lost behind the fireworks, the grilling out and the various festivals. While moments spent enjoying life is priceless, Memorial Day should be honored by everyone, because without the brave men and women who gave their life, we would not be free. So in between it all, find moments to pause and appreciate. Below are eight interesting facts about Memorial Day plus a beautiful poem……..
8 Interesting Facts about Memorial Day:
Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and was originally called, Decoration Day.
- Memorial Day was declared a federal holiday in 1971
- Waterloo, NY is considered the birthplace of Memorial Day because they were the first to proclaim a day to honor fallen soldiers.
- In the year 2000 congress initialized a movement, at 3:00 pm all Americans are asked to stop, to literally pause for one full minute in remembrance.
- Memorial Day is usually held on the last Monday of every May.
- On Memorial Day, all American flags are supposed to be positioned at half staff until noon, and then raised to the top until sunset.
- For families of fallen soldiers, Memorial Day is celebrated by visiting graves stones and placing flowers upon it.
- Inspired by John McCrae’s World War 1 poem “In Flanders Fields”, Memorial Day is associated with wearing artificial poppies.
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields
Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915 by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae