Everyone knows that Memorial Day is a great time to get together with your family and friends to mark the start of summer. While you celebrate it’s important to remember that the holiday was originally created to honor our military forces, past and present. If you need a fun activity that everyone can enjoy, try taking these interesting facts and creating a trivia game to test everyone on their knowledge of Memorial Day.
What was the original name for Memorial Day?
Memorial Day was originally named Decoration Day by Maj. General John Logan. The holiday started in 1868 and was declared as a time to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers to commemorate the dead, hence the name Decoration Day.
Where was the first Memorial Day held?
Trick question! While Lyndon Johnson dedicated Waterloo, NY as the official home of Memorial Day, the actual place it was held first is unknown. Over two dozen cities claim they are the birthplace of this national holiday.
How many People attended the first Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery?
The first memorial day activity involving the National Cemetery was attended by over 5,000 people. These visitors placed small American flags on each of the gravestones located within the cemetery.
What special act was passed to continue the tradition of honoring and remembering fallen soldiers?
To ensure that the fallen heroes of our country are never forgotten the U.S. Congress passed The National Moment of Remembrance Act in December of 2000. The act was made to encourage the people of America to give something back to their country. The moment comes every year at 3 P.M. local time on Memorial Day.
Apart from Memorial Day what other special holidays do other states have to remember fallen soldiers?
Many Southern states still hold seperate holidays to honor fallen Confederate soldiers separately from Memorial Day. The South did not recognize Memorial Day as an official holiday until after WWI.
How many soldiers are buried in the Arlington National Cemetery?
Over 20,000 fallen soldiers are buried in the National Cemetery. During an average week 28 burials are held daily, accruing over 6,900 burials in a year. During Memorial Day each of the 20,000 graves are decorated the Thursday before the holiday and guarded 24 hours a day until Memorial Day passes.
At your Memorial Day picnic try quizzing your family and friends with these less known facts. See who really knows their stuff about Memorial Day history. Have Fun!
Veterans Association- Memorial Day Facts