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31 Memorial Day trivia questions and answers to test your knowledge on the holiday

31 Memorial Day trivia questions and answers to test your knowledge on the holiday
Observed on the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is a federal holiday celebrated on May 27 this year.

For many people, it means a three-day weekend, and like other national holidays, a majority of financial and government institutions are closed in recognition of the day.

Established more than 150 years ago, Memorial Day is intended to honor and remember U.S. military personnel lost in war and is often commemorated with parades and special services.

It is also a time when friends and family decorate the graves of service persons and because of that, the holiday is also known as “Decoration Day” — a bit of Memorial Day trivia you might not know.

In commemoration of the holiday, we’ve assembled a list of Memorial Day facts about the history, meaning and other relevant details associated with the annual day of remembrance.

Among them? When Memorial Day was officially marked as a federal holiday, why the end of May was chosen to commemorate the fallen, as well as additional facts on the military and patriotic songs.

However you spend this Memorial Day, whether it be cooking out in the backyard or paying tribute to America’s military heroes, these trivia questions and answers will leave you with with a better understanding of why we recognize this special day.

Memorial Day Trivia Questions and Answers

  • What other name is Memorial Day known by? Answer: Decoration Day

  • Memorial Day was originally established to honor fallen soldiers of which war? Answer: The Civil War

  • Which esteemed medal for valor was first created during the Civil War? Answer: The Medal of Honor

  • Who is the only woman to ever be awarded the Medal of Honor? Answer: Dr. Mary Walker

  • What is the official song of the U.S. Army? Answer: “The Army Goes Rolling Along”

  • Memorial Day is recognized on what day each year? Answer: The last Monday in May

  • What date in May was Memorial Day originally observed? Answer: May 30

  • Where is Arlington National Cemetery located? Answer: Arlington, Virginia

  • Who composed the “Star-Spangled Banner”? Answer: Francis Scott Key

  • In what year did observing Memorial Day on the last Monday in May become law? Answer: 1971

  • What are the branches of the U.S. military? Answer: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, Coast Guard and National Guard

  • What does the Latin term “Semper Fidelis” mean? Answer: Always faithful

  • How should the American flag be flown on Memorial Day? Answer: It should be raised to half-staff from sunrise until noon, then displayed at full staff from noon to sunset

  • The “America the Beautiful” is based on the poem “Pikes Peak” written by who? Answer: Katharine Lee Bates

  • During a national commemoration held annually on Memorial Day, a wreath is placed on what significant memorial? Answer: The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

  • Who is credited for sewing the first American flag? Answer: Elizabeth “Betsy” Ross

  • How many stars are on an American flag? Answer: 50 (one for each state in the U.S.)

  • What is the official song of the U.S. Navy? Answer: “Anchors Aweigh”

  • Lori Robinson, the highest-ranking woman in U.S. military history, served as general in what branch of the armed forces? Answer: Air Force

  • In 2000, Congress passed a law requiring Americans to pause on Memorial Day to honor of fallen servicemen and women. At what time should the remembrance occur? Answer: 3 p.m.

  • According to AAA, roughly how many Americans planned to travel for Memorial Day in 2023? Answer: 42.3 million

  • What is the official song of the U.S. Air Force? Answer: “Wild Blue Yonder”

  • What flower is worn in honor of Memorial Day? Answer: The poppy

  • Serving U.S. military personnel and their families since 1941, what do the letters of the USO stand for? Answer: United Service Organizations

  • In honor of Confederate and Union soldiers lost in the Civil War, what year was the first Memorial Day observed? Answer: 1868

  • What is the official song of the U.S. Marine Corps? Answer: “Marines’ Hymn”

  • “Be all you can be” was the ad slogan for which branch of the U.S. armed forces? Answer: Army

  • How many stripes are on an American flag? Answer: Thirteen: one for each of the original colonies

  • Where is the largest Memorial Day parade held in the U.S.? Answer: Washington D.C.

  • The Coast Guard theme song is “Semper Paratus.” What does it mean? Answer: Always ready

  • It is believed Maj. Gen. John A. Logan designated May 30 as Memorial Day for what reason? Answer: Because flowers would be in bloom across the country

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