Memorial Day, three-day weekend excites most people due to the many benefits it offers. While people head out to their planned vacation spots to enjoy the sun-rays, barbecued plates, shopping deals, or a weekend of just sleeping in, there are many reasons why this years holiday weekend may be slightly different than others celebrated in the past. Through many sources the weather for Memorial Day weekend has been reported to ruin some plans, however some fun facts have surfaced to help entertain those caught in the possible storm, or those that need to remember why the holiday offers many benefits for those in celebration, of soldiers that need to be remembered.
According to NBC, many states within the country have been placed under a flood watch. A storm has been said to hit the Midwest, Southern Plains, and Texas. Thunderstorms rolling in are bringing hail, isolated tornadoes, and wind Saturday and Sunday. Reporters have told Texans that decided to camp out for Memorial weekend to take precautions due to the heavy storm, many lake and river closures have been set up to prevent built up debris that resides in the water to come towards the inland. Throughout the rest of the country Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, and some parts of Louisiana should expect up to three inches of rain, along with flash floods due to river banks filling up, and creaks, grounds, and streams already being seeped from previous rainfalls.
Even though the weather may hurt some people Memorial Day plans, some fun facts listed below can help entertain those that forgot the meaning of the holiday, and had to cancel plans. The list is also a small refresher of American history.
Number 1- Memorial Day is a holiday which remembers American soldiers, who made sacrifices for their country during the Civil War which took place in 1861-1865. Many places have claimed to be the birthplace of the day, but the federal government announced Waterloo, New York, to be the official birthplace on May 5, 1866.
Number 2- The Civil War is known as the most fatal war on American soil, with about 620,000 Americans dying in the war. While a total of 664,000 American soldiers have died in all of the wars combined, Memorial Day was originally established by Congress as a federal holiday to be celebrated on the last Monday of May, for decades until 1971.
Number 3- Decoration Day, was the original name of the Memorial Day holiday. Its previous name pertained to the floral decorations that covered the tombs of the soldiers that died in the Civil War. While it is internationally known as Memorial Day there are still a couple of states which still call it by its original name.
Number 4- After WWII, the day began to include the death of all soldiers that have died in wars.
Number 5- Many people get Memorial Day confused with Veteran’s Day. Memorial Day takes place on the last Monday in the month of May, while Veteran’s Day is November 11. Memorial Day is the remembrance of the women and men that have died when serving the country. Veterans Day is the day all U.S. military veterans are celebrated.
Now that some fun facts have been revealed, the remainder of the weekend can be celebrated with more knowledge of why it is a holiday. Although the three-day weekend is usually the start of summer, the current storm is said to be cleared by Monday, May 26. Weather conditions may have hurt two days of the Memorial Day weekend, but learning fun facts about how the day came about, and why it is a federal holiday gives it a better reason to appreciate the day and those that made sacrifices for America.
By Krystle Mitchell
NBC News: Heavy Rain in Texas, Southern Plains, and the Midwest
News Leader: Memorial Day Birthplace
Democrat and Chronicle: 10 Memorial Day Facts
Photo Courtesy of Shawn Harquail’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License