Monday, 30 May 2016

Fun Facts About Memorial Day

Memorial Day Facts

Yep, it's Memorial Day in America, and that means a three day holiday weekend. But, as well as a nice long break from work, picnics, parades, family barbeques, it's also a day of remembrance for those who have fallen in battle defending their country against those who meant it harm.

The tradition of commemorating those who died in service can be traced back hundreds, if not thousands of years. The Greek and Romans had their own celebrations, as did the Egyptians.
It wasn't until the US Civil War that the practice became widespread in American.
Watch the video tribute
Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day.
After the Civil War, General John A. Logan called for a holiday to commemorate fallen soldiers, and suggested May 30th.
It wasn't until 1971 that Memorial Day was moved to the last Monday in May each year and became a proper holiday.
You're actually legally obligated to observer a minute silence at 3pm.
It's the law. The US Congress passed the law in 2000, requiring every American in the country to stop what they are doing at 3pm local time to remember and honour those who have fallen.
Waterloo, New York, was the first to officially recognise Memorial Day as a holiday.
Although that fact is hotly disputed.
Over 20 towns claim to be Memorial Day's birthplace, but it is Waterloo, New York, that is officially recognised.
It was Lyndon Johnson who dedicated Waterloo as the official birthplace of Memorial Day/Decoration Day, on May 26th 1966.
From the 1950s, the US Infantry placed small American flags on each of the half a million gravestones in the Arlington National Cemetery on the Thursday before Memorial Day.
They then guard the Cemetery to make sure all the flags are still standing and not disturbed.
Around the world each country commemorates those who have fallen on different dates, and in different ways.
In the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and many of the Commonwealth countries, Remembrance Day is commemorated on the 11th November, at 11am, which marks the date and time of the end of the First World War in 1918.
It is often called Poppy Day, as the Poppy has become the emblem of Remembrance Day because of the poem by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, In Flanders Fields.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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