A memorial is an object, sculpture, headstone or statue which serves as a memory of someone. Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday of May since 1971.

Memorial day was originally called 'Decoration Day' to honor soldiers who fought in the Civil War. When the 20th Century came around, the day was meant to remember all of the U.S. service people who fought in all wars.

Here are 5 facts that surround the holiday we know as 'Memorial Day' that will hopefully help you understand that the last Monday in May is more than just hot dogs and camping.

  1. About 620,000 soldiers, in both the Union and Confederate Armies, died in the Civil War.
  2. In the year 2000, Congress passed a law requiring all Americans to cease whatever they are doing at 3:00 p.m. on Memorial Day, and honor those who have died in our armed forces. President Clinton signed this into law.
  3. The United States Flag should be flown at half-mast until noon, and then flown at full mast until sunset on this day.
  4. The tradition used to be to eat a picnic dinner on the grounds of a cemetery, to remember the fallen. In the south, some people still observe this tradition.
  5. In Arlington Cemetery, there are roughly 300,000 fallen soldiers buried there. They bury around 28 people a day, on average.

What are you doing for Memorial Day? Whatever you plan to do, be safe and take a moment to remember those who gave their lives, that you and I may be free.