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May 26, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

  • The History of Memorial Day

  • The original name for the holiday was Decoration Day.
  • Memorial Day is set aside to honor those who died in our Nation's service.
  • Originally started to commemorate the deceased of the Civil War.
  • Waterloo, NY was declared the official birthplace of Memorial Day by President Johnson in 1966.
  • Over two dozen towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day.
  • Southern women are said to have started the tradition of decorating the graves of Confederate. Soldiers with flags and flowers.
  • Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5th, 1868.
  • A General, not a President, declared Memorial Day.
  • Memorial Day was first observed on May 30th, 1868.
  • Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday in May.
  • The first state to recognize the day was NY.
  • On the first, official Memorial Day a large ceremony was held at Arlington National Cemetery and flowers were placed on the headstones.
  • Most southern states refused to recognize the day officially until after WWI.
  • After WWI the Day was adjusted to celebrate the deceased in all wars.
  • A National Holiday Act was signed by Congress in 1971, ensuring a three day weekend for the Federal Holiday.
  • Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Tennessee, all have separate days to honor the South's Civil War hero's.
  • Red poppies are the unofficial flower of Memorial Day.
  • The VFW was the first veterans' organization to sell poppies nationally.
  • The "Buddy" Poppy Program sells imitation poppies made by veterans.
  • Memorial Day parades were once a standard of the day.
  • In 2000 the National Moment of Remembrance was initiated.
  • The National Moment of remembrance asks that all Americans at 3:00 pm, pause from any action to somehow honor the deceased of our many wars.
  • In 1951 the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began the placement of 150,000 flags at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. This tradition still stands.
  • In 2004 Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.
  • Memorial Day is the, unofficial, beginning of summer activities.
  • US death tolls for Memorial Weekend are higher than almost any other weekend.
  • On Memorial Day the flag should be flown at half staff until noon and full staff the rest of the day.
  • Hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists descend on Washington D.C. each Memorial Day in a parade of appreciation for fallen soldiers, MIA's, and POW's. This tradition started in 1988 with 2,500 motorcyclists.

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