Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, was started after the Civil War as a way to remember and recognize soldiers who died in the line of duty. Decoration Day was observed by placing flags or flowers at the graves of soldiers killed in the Civil War. Today, the Arlington National Cemetery has ceremonies that are free and open to the public. 

Here are some interesting Memorial Day facts–

  • American casualties during the Civil War were more than American casualties in World War I and  World War II combined.  
  • Of the more than 58,000 soldiers killed in Viet Nam, only eight were female.       
  • The first official Memorial Day was May 30th, 1868.               

Attending a Ceremony

Most towns and cities in America have some sort of Memorial Day ceremony or observation. Parades and outdoor festivals are educational and – great stuff for the kids. If you’re in a more somber mood and in the neighborhood, the Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery is a moving experience. 

The Classic Family Picnic

Sometimes just gathering the family for a picnic or cookout is the perfect way to celebrate. Grilling some hotdogs or burgers and throwing the football around will complete the day.

Image credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / EllenSmile