80 Memorial Day Trivia Questions and Answers

Memorial Day is a holiday to celebrate and honor soldiers who have tirelessly fought and served their nation.

This day is often conflated with Veterans Day or Armed Forces Day, only that it is not observed to commemorate those actively serving or who have fallen in combat. It is the unofficial opening of summer.

Memorial Day Trivia Questions and Answers

A time when people watch public parades and unite with families over open barbecues or different foods. People carry around flags and bake patriotic-themed cakes. However, there is more to Memorial Day than all this fun stuff.

This holiday honors the millions of lives lost during the Civil war. These fun Memorial Day trivia questions and answers will put to test your history knowledge.


1. What city is known as the birthplace of Memorial Day?

Waterloo, New York


2. What is the National Moment of Remembrance Resolution?

At 3pm on Memorial Day all Americans are asked to willingly and informally stay silent for a minute of remembrance and honors.


3. When does the Memorial Day holiday occur in the United States?

On the last Monday of May


4. Memorial Day was originally known as what?

Decoration Day


5. Which President started Memorial Day?

President Lyndon B. Johnson.


6. Why Memorial Day is celebrated?

To honor the people who died while serving the U.S military.


7. Memorial Day was first recognized on what date?

May 30, 1868


8. When was Memorial Day first celebrated?

5 May 1868


9. When did the day originate?

In the following years of the Civil War.


10. When was Memorial Day named as such by the federal government?



11. What do you write on Memorial Day?

‘Let us acknowledge those who courageously gave their lives to save ours’.


12. How do Americans celebrate Memorial Day?

By visiting memorials and cemeteries, arranging family gatherings or participating in parades.


13. What act moved Memorial Day from May 30 to the last Monday in May each year?

The Uniform Monday Holiday Act


14. What is done on Decoration Day?

A day for the nation to adorn the burials of the war dead, accompanied with flowers


15. When did the day become an official federal holiday?

In 1971


16. When did Memorial Day move from May 30 to the last Monday in May?

In 1971


17. When did Washington, D.C. hold its first Memorial Day parade?



18. Why the Memorial Day selected on the last Monday of May?

To create a three-day weekend for the federal employees.


19. Arlington National Cemetery used to be a plantation belonging to whom?

Robert E. Lee


20. What happens to the flag on Memorial Day?

The flag should be at half-staff until midday, then hoisted to the top after that.


21. Who spoke at the first Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery?

James A. Garfield


22. Who started the tradition of wearing red poppies on Memorial Day?

Moina Michael


23. When was the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery established?

Nov. 11, 1921


24. When did the holiday transform from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died combatting in any battle?

After World War I.


25. What poem inspired the tradition of wearing and planting poppy blossoms for Memorial Day?

“In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae


26. Which are the two most important items people wield to remember soldiers?

Flowers and flags.


27. Confederate Memorial Day is recognized in which states?

Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia


28. For how many years has Memorial Day been reserved for cherishing the lives of Civil War soldiers only?

100 years


29. Which president signed the National Moment of Remembrance Act?


30. Many Americans treat Memorial Day as the onset of which season?



31. Which flower is associated with the day?

Red poppy


32. When was “Taps” written?



33. Memorial Day weekend has been known as being the most hazardous holiday. Which incident caused it to be known as very risky?

A car accident.


34. Which southern state first celebrated the memorial holiday?



35. Memorial Day is held in May for what reason?

So flowers will be in bloom to decorate soldiers’ graves


36. In 2004, what city held its first Memorial Day parade in sixty years?

Washington D.C.


37. How many participants decorated graves for the first Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery?



38. What organization called for adorning the shrines of fallen soldiers on 30 May, 1868?

Republic Civil War Veterans’ Organization.


39. How many fallen soldiers were honored at the first Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery?



40. Which memorial to the fallen was the first to be inaugurated on Washington D.C. National Mall?

Vietnam Veterans Memorial.


41.  When did all other northern states recognize it?



42.  One of the very first ceremonies to honor fallen Union Civil War soldiers was held on May 1, 1865, by whom in what city?

Freed slaves and U.S. Colored Troops in Charleston, South Carolina


43. Which prominent sports events traditionally takes place every Memorial Day weekend in the United States?

Indianapolis 500


44. Why did Mona Michael sell poppies to her friends and co-workers?

To give the money to the servicemen in need.


45. Which senator and World War II veteran fought to return Memorial Day to May 30 until his death in 2012?

Senator Daniel Inouye


46. Which military service is honored by this memorial just outside of Washington, often cited as the ‘Iwo Jima memorial’  because it accentuates a sculpture of a scene from the famous World War II battle?

The Marines


47. Which is the first veteran’s organization to sell poppies nationally?

Veterans of Foreign Wars


48. Which historical monument was dedicated on Memorial Day in 1922?

The Lincoln Memorial


49. Which woman served as a battlefield nurse during the Civil War, achieving the epithet ‘Angel of the Battlefield’, and established the American Red Cross in 1881?

Clara Barton

50. The ancient Greeks marked one of the earliest displays of honoring fallen soldiers in which war?

The Peloponnesian War


51. The quote, ‘I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity’, is from which former soldier who became a U.S. president.

Dwight Eisenhower


52. How many deaths are estimated during the Civil War?



53. About how many Americans visit Arlington National Cemetery each year?

About 40 million


54. There is something unusual at the Arlington national cemetery. What is it?

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.


55. When there was a shortage of natural poppies in 1924, which city was the first to manufacture artificial poppies?

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


56. Who has been associated as being the first to announce that shops are shut for one day to honor the soldiers coming back from the Civil War?

Henry Welles


57. Who addresses on the Memorial Day 26 May 1983?

President Ronald Reagan


58. The annual biker rally in Washington, D.C. each Memorial Day is called what?

The Rolling Thunder Run


59. The first Memorial Day speeches often emphasized what principle?

Sectional Reconciliation


60. What rise in percentage is the automobile-related casualties over Memorial Day weekend?



61. After how many years of the Civil War the Decoration Day established?

Three years


62. The Rolling Thunder Run is aimed at raising awareness of what?

Prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action


63. How many hot dogs do Americans eat between Memorial Day and Labor Day?

7 billion


64. In 2012, how many places claimed to have begun Memorial Day?



65. What does the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment place at each shrine in Arlington National Cemetery every Memorial Day?

Small flags


66. What was the name of the Act according to which the date of the Memorial Day revised?

The Uniform Monday Holiday Act


67. How many American men and women have died in all battles the U.S. has been involved?

1.1 million


68. Who passed this Act and when?

The Congress in 1968


69. Which food is the most served on Memorial Day?

Barbecue Chicken


70. When did the first race of the Indianapolis 500 take place?

On Memorial Day 1911


71. What does GAR stands for?

Grand Army of the Republic


72. What is usually played in the ceremonies of Memorial Day?



73. What was the longest war in which the U.S military fought?

The Afghan War


74. Which city hosts the oldest Memorial Day Parade?

Doylestown, Pa.


75. Which war is named as the forgotten war?


76. How many bikers rode by 2002 on Memorial Day?



77. Due to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, Memorial Day was moved to the last Monday of May in 1971. What was the purpose of this?

For more holiday rest


78. The poppy is considered the official flower of Memorial Day. What color poppy is used on this important holiday?



79. Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. Who gave it this name?

John A. Logan


80. Which is the most popular activity takes place on Memorial Day?

Parade and visiting friends and families



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