Memorial Day Facts For Kids:

  • Memorial Day is celebrated to honor and remember all 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 get Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day confused. Veteran’s Day is a day to honor all the men and women who have served in the US armed forces, Memorial Day is 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 5 1868 to honor union soldiers who died in the Civil War.
  • It was called Decoration Day because family members of fallen soldiers decorated their graves with flowers.
  • The first service to honor fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery was held on May 30, 1868.  
  • 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 1971.
  • The official flower of Memorial Day are red poppies.
  • People celebrate Memorial Day by placing flowers on soldier’s graves, flying flags at half-staff, attending parades and remembering soldiers who lost their lives.