1. Memorial Day began as a day honoring Union soldiers killed during the Civil War.
2. Some Southern states still have a separate day of remembrance for Confederate soldiers.
3. The original date of ‘Decoration Day’ was May 30, chosen because it was not associated with any particular battle.
4. The tradition of red poppies honoring fallen soldiers comes from a Canadian poem written during WWI.
5. The Vietnam War was responsible for Memorial Day becoming a national holiday.
6. Rolling Thunder, a nonprofit that brings attention to prisoners of war and those who remain missing in action, holds a rally every Memorial Day.
7. Although many towns claim to have been the birthplace of Memorial Day, Waterloo, New York is officially recognized as the first to commemorate the day.
8. Congress passed a law in 2000 that requires Americans to stop what they're doing at 3:00 P.M. to observe the holiday.
9. American flags are requested to be flown half-staff until noon on Memorial Day.