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Did you know these Memorial Day facts?

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For most of us, Memorial Day means a Monday off work, but it’s about so much more. It’s a chance to pay tribute to our service members who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

If you’d like to learn about a day that’s been recognized for more than 150 years, here are five facts about Memorial Day you may not have known.

Memorial Day began during the Civil War

Originally known as Decoration Day, this day of remembrance began during the American Civil War when flowers were placed on the graves of those killed in battle. After World War I, Decoration Day was changed to Memorial Day to honor those who died in all U.S. wars.

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What’s the difference between Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Armed Forces Day?

Memorial Day, the last Monday in May, honors those who gave their lives in the line of duty. Veterans Day, Nov. 11, honors those who served our country in war or peacetime but who are still with us. Armed Forces Day, the third Saturday in May, honors those who are currently serving.

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Memorial Day wasn’t always on the last Monday of May

Like many holidays, Memorial Day was moved to a Monday because of the 1971 Uniform Monday Holiday Act. Some veterans’ groups have been working to restore the original date to give Memorial Day more significance than just a three-day weekend.

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By law, there is a moment of silence on Memorial Day

In December 2000, Congress passed a law requiring Americans to observe a moment of silence at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day. With many people out of work and away from clocks, it’s a tradition that’s not often practiced.

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Millions of people will travel this Memorial Day to be with family and friends

Even though Memorial Day is about more than cook-outs and get-togethers, it’s still a day that brings us closer. AAA projects 43.8 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Memorial Day weekend, up from last year’s 42.3 million.

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