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6 facts to know about Memorial Day

With summer getting ready to start, Memorial Day weekend is usually celebrated by barbeques, camping trips and a great start of summer sales, but Memorial Day is actually more than just hot dogs and campfires. It’s a day to honor and remember those who have died while serving our country. In the spirit of commemoration, we have put together a few facts you might not know about Memorial Day.

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Memorial Day originally was created to honor military personnel who died in the Civil War. The holiday has since changed and now honors those who died in any war while serving in the United States military.

Waterloo, New York is recognized as the birthplace for the holiday. Although many towns and states claim the title, Waterloo was officially recognized as the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966. Waterloo has commemorated Memorial Day every year since 1866.

Memorial Day hasn’t always been a Monday. Officially commemorated on May 30th from 1868 through 1970, Memorial Day was changed to occur on the last Monday of May, as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which took effect in 1971.

Poppies are the official memorial flower. People wearing poppies to honor those who lost their lives in war dates back to the First World War and was inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” written in 1915 by a Canadian physician, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae.

There is flag etiquette for Memorial Day. It is a Memorial Day tradition to fly the flag at half-staff until noon, and then raise it to the top of the staff until sunset.

The National Moment of Remembrance Act was signed into law in December 2000. The bill signed by President Clinton encourages all Americans to take a moment of silence at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day to honor those who have given their lives in service of our nation.

In honor and remembrance of all service members who have fallen and their families, we wish everyone a safe and special Memorial Day weekend.

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