Memorial Day by the numbers:
- The roots of Memorial Day can be traced to Athens and the Funeral Oration of Pericles– honor those who have fallen, follow their example of citizenship
- The commemoration was originally made by the Grand Army of the Republic as Decoration Day- flags were to be placed on all the graves of fallen Union soldiers
- The first Decoration Day was celebrated by 27 states in 1868
- By 1890, every state in the Union observed the holiday in some way… it was not a Federal holiday until 1971
- The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated on Memorial Day, 1922.