I really don't know anything about Memorial Day. I have been around for 56 Memorial Days and have no idea where it originated. So, here are some Memorial Day facts to give you a better understanding of why you have the day off.
On May 5, 1868, General John Logan proclaimed Memorial Day and had flowers placed on all the graves - both confederate and Union - at Arlington Cemetery. The South refused to honor Memorial Day until after World War I when they changed Memorial Day to honor soldiers lost in all wars, rather than just the Civil War.
Red Poppies were won on Memorial Day by Americans. This is based on the poem, In Flanders Field, by Moina Michael,
We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
Here is the coolest thing. While you and I barely think about all the men and women who gave their lives in service to the United States, each year on the Thursday before Memorial Day, 1,200 soldiers in the 3rd US Infantry place small American flags on every grave at Arlington Cemetery. They patrol Arlington 24/7 through Memorial Day to ensure not one flag gets blown down. So those flags stand with perfect posture honoring those that lie there.
And, so that's it. Memorial Day... I am going to try and find a red poppy to put on my desk tomorrow.
God Bless America.