Adults and kids love Memorial Day weekend, but its more than just a three-day weekend filled full of family shenanigans. Teaching the meaning of Memorial Day to your children can be a challenge, we hope to help you with these 16 Memorial Day facts for kids.
Quick Memorial Day Facts for Kids:
- Memorial Day is celebrated to honor and remember all of the men and women who died fighting for our country. These men and women dedicated their lives so we can be a free nation.
- Some people gets Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day confused. Veteran’s Day is a day to honor all of the men and women who have served in the US armed forces, Memorial Day to to honor those who lost their lives.
- Memorial Day is celebrated every year on the last Monday in May.
- Having a day to honor the soldiers who lost their lives started after the Civil War (1861-1865).
- The original name was Decoration Day.
- Decoration Day was started on May 5th 1868 by General John A Logan commander of the Grand Army of the Republic head of the Organization of Union Veterans to honor union soldiers who died in the Civil War.
- It was called Decoration Day because family members of fallen soldiers decorated the their graves with flowers.
- The first service to honor fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery was held on May 30th 1868. President Ulysses S. Grant was present at the ceremony and General James Garfield gave a speech.
- Decoration Day originally only honored the soldiers who died in the Civil War. After World War I it was changed to all soldiers who lost their lives in war.
- On May 11 1950 Decoration Day was changed to Memorial Day.
- President Richard Nixon declared Memorial Day a federal holiday in I971.
- In 1966 congress along with President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo New York the birthplace of Memorial Day.
- The red poppy is the official flower of Memorial Day.
- People celebrate Memorial Day by placing flowers on soldier’s graves, fly flags at half-staff, attending parades and remembering soldiers who lost their lives .
- Schools, Post Office, most Banks and other businesses are closed on Memorial Day.
- Memorial Day is the unofficial start to the summer season.
Remember: Memorial Day isn’t about what’s going on right now or what might happen in the future. It’s about the 1.1 million American men and women who have been killed in all U.S. wars. However you spend the holiday, take some time to think about those who sacrificed their lives.
Check out some of our other Memorial Day posts.