This weekend is Memorial Day weekend and that means we’re all ready for the bell to ring and begin a long-waited 3-day weekend! While we’re looking forward to this extra chance to relax, the true meaning of the holiday is also at top of mind—to remember and honor those who have served our country and those we have lost in their service to our country. In the spirit of remembering, here are five peachy facts about Memorial Day!
- Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. The holiday was first created to honor the fallen soldiers of the American Civil War. Following World War I, Memorial Day became a day to honor soldiers killed in all wars.
- The term ‘Decoration Day’ had interesting roots. The initial decree for May 30th to become a nationwide commemoration declared that all Americans should lay flowers and decorate graves of fallen soldiers.
- There are many Memorial Day traditions. A core tradition is remembering the fallen by placing flowers on the graves of those who have died in military service. On Memorial Day, the American flag is to be hung at half-staff until noon, and then raised immediately after. In 2000, a newer tradition began, that of encouraging all Americans to pause for a National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00 PM local time.
- Memorial Day didn’t become a federal holiday until 1971. While Americans first embraced the holiday in 1868, there were no official 3-day weekends until 1971!
- Waterloo, NY has the honor of being the originator of this holiday. Many communities held similar ceremonies before it was dubbed a nationwide remembrance, so there’s a bit of dispute over where Memorial Day first originated. However, Waterloo, New York became the officially designated originator of the national holiday when Lyndon B. Johnson and Congress declared the town the official birthplace of Memorial Day.
With all this in mind, it’s also important to take this moment as a well-deserved pause before the end of school. Whether you’re taking this time to get away for the weekend, lighting up the grill for a family BBQ, or just taking the day to rest, the teacher Peach team wishes you and all of the mazing teachers in your life a SAFE, happy, and relaxing long Memorial Day weekend.
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