Memorial Day: Trivia and Fun Facts

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May 22, 2020

“We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them.” ~Francis A. Walker

Memorial Day is an Older Tradition Than You Realize

Memorial Day was once a day honoring Union and Confederate soldiers who lost their lives during the Civil War. At that time, it was called Decoration Day. In the 1900’s, the day was expanded to include all soldiers who died while serving. In 1967, the name was officially changed from Decoration Day to Memorial Day.

Memorial Day has come to mark the beginning of summer for families across America. For many seasonal businesses, the holiday also marks the beginning of their busy season. IT services and security are critical for these seasonal businesses because they depend heavily on earnings during the busy season to keep the business operational all year round and can’t afford a down day or a security breach.

Hit the Shops

Nearly half of all Americans will be shopping the Memorial Day sales, spending nearly $490 each. Stores slash prices between 20-80%, with home goods and clothing being the top sellers. We recommend that small business retailers use the weeks leading up to the holidays to ensure their networks, POS systems, payment processing systems, and secury systems are all updated and operational.

As online retail becomes increasingly popular, holiday sales are not only popular with consumers but are also prime targets for hackers and cyber attacks. Use our free DIY Cybersecurity Assessment Checklist to identify any security gaps that could leave your business and your customers vulnerable.

Grab your tongs and get busy; Memorial Day is the second most popular day for barbecues and drinking brews, topped only by the 4th of July. Many manufacturers of residential grills, grilling accessories, paper products, and food packaging ramp up their production in preparation for this iconic day. Integris helps our manufacturing clients manage the increases in employee logistics, orders and payments, and facility operational needs that come along with any busy season.

If you are ready for a barbecue you aren’t alone. Fifty-seven percent of Americans will be grilling on Memorial Day. What they’ll be grilling:

  • Burgers (85%)
  • Steaks (80%)
  • Hot Dogs (79%)
  • Chicken (73%)

It’s estimated that over 800 hot dogs are eaten on Memorial Day…per second. This means nearly 72 million hot dogs are eaten on this day alone… That’s a lot of dogs! After all, Memorial Day is considered the official kick-off to the “hot dog eating season.”

Anyone want to do the math and see how many extra packages of hot dog rolls will be needed to balance the hot dog/bun packaging problem? The reason for the bun shortage is logistical:  Hot dog rolls are baked in pans that hold eight rolls, coming off the trays in two sets of four buns each (that’s why your buns are still attached to each other in the package). Meanwhile, hot dog distributors chose the number of hot dogs in a package (typically ten) in the 1940’s based on the weight of the meat, and never looked back.

The Memorial Day Traditions You Never Knew

In the year 2000, a resolution was passed asking that every American stop their activities and reflect on the sacrifices made by war heroes at 3pm on Memorial Day. Called the National Moment of Remembrance Resolution, Americans are encouraged to listen to taps or observe a moment of silence to honor the fallen.

On Memorial Day, American flags should be flown at half-staff until noon before being raised.

A twenty-one-gun salute was originally a peace declaration; since there was a limited amount of ammo on ships, they would fire 21 cannonballs to announce they were unarmed. Those waiting on land would do the same, and both sides knew that the intentions of the other were peaceful. This had its roots in the ancient practice of pressing the point of your weapon into the dirt to show you had peaceful intentions when meeting the enemy.

The three-gun volley was sounded on the battleground to call a cease-fire for both sides to go onto the field and collect their soldiers. Once they had finished, the three shots were sounded again and fighting would resume.

The tradition of wearing red poppies on Memorial Day was started by a reference from the poem, In Flanders Fields, written by Canadian John McCrae in 1915:

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.”

The First State to Officially Celebrate Memorial Day was New York

Though twenty-five states claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day celebrations, it’s commonly recognized that New York state was the first to recognize the holiday in 1873. Our Rochester, NY office is proud to be able to share that honour.

And there you have it. Amaze your friends and family with these Memorial Day facts and trivia (while wearing your white shoes and grilling hot dogs)!

Related: How Hot is Too Hot for a CPU?

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