Did you know that this weekend is called a "holiday weekend"? But what holiday is coming up...?
I'll give you a hint.. this holiday take's place every last Monday of the month of May. Any guesses?
It's Memorial day!
Have you noticed a few more American flags placed around town over this past week? Our towns and cities are getting ready to celebrate Memorial Day! Who do you think we celebrate on this holiday? Memorial Day has the word memorial in it for a reason! On this holiday, we honor the men and women of the U.S. military who died in American wars.
In 1950, President Harry S. Truman issued a proclamation that broadened the purpose of Memorial Day. He called on Americans to also observe the holiday as a day of prayer for peace. President Richard M. Nixon declared Memorial Day a federal holiday in 1971.
One of the biggest Memorial Day traditions is for the president or vice president to give a speech. Another is for the president or vice president to lay a wreath on soldiers’ graves in the largest U.S. military burial ground, Arlington National Cemetery, in Virginia.
Most towns have local Memorial Day celebrations. Here are some ways you can honor the men and women who have served our country this year!
- Put flags or flowers on the graves of men and women who served in wars.
- Fly the U.S. flag at half-mast until noon.
- Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time.
Technically, summer doesn’t start until June 21. But many people consider Memorial Day to be the unofficial start of the season! Happy Summer!!
What do you know about the American Flag?
The flag of the United States has seven red stripes and six white stripes. These 13 stripes stand for the original 13 colonies. The flag also has a blue canton, a rectangle in the top left corner. The canton has one white star for every state.
When a new state joins the United States, a new flag is made with an additional star. The new flag is first flown on the "Fourth of July," Independence Day.
The last states to join the United States were Alaska and Hawaii in 1959. Alaska joined on January 3, 1959, so the new flag with 49 stars was used from July 4, 1959. Hawaii joined on August 21, 1959 so the flag with 50 stars that is used today was not flown until July 4, 1960.
The colors in the flag are red, white and blue. The colors have no special meaning in the flag, but in the coat of arms white stands for purity and innocence, red for bravery and strength and blue for watchfulness, perseverance and justice.
The flag is also often called the Stars and Stripes, the Star-Spangled Banner, or Old Glory. The national anthem of the United States both reference the flag.
Do you remember why that is?
Let's make our own flag!
- Rectangular card board (as big or as small as you want!)
- Red, white, and blue paper
- Glue stick