Memorial Day in 2014 is on Monday, May 26. The holiday always falls on the last Monday of the month.

Memorial Day is about much more than cook outs and unofficially ushering in summer. It's a day set aside to stop and remember all those who have died in the line of duty while serving our country. Many Americans take time to visit cemeteries and memorials, leave flowers on loved ones' grave sites and spend time in reflection.

Here are five facts about Memorial Day that you might not have known.

  •  It was originally called Decoration Day
  •  Waterloo, New York is the birthplace of the holiday. The town held the first Memorial Day observance on May 5, 1866.
  •  Each year on Memorial Day, a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time.
  •  For decades, Memorial Day was observed on May 30. In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May. It was done to create a three day weekend for federal employees.
  •  Memorial Day was originally observed to remember those who died in the Civil War, but eventually evolved to observe casualties of all wars.
Richard Lockyer