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Sad Statistic on Memorial Day

Some good news/bad news when it comes to Memorial Day, according to a new survey. While 83% of Americans believe it's important to commemorate the holiday, far fewer than half know it's meant to honor military members who died in service to our country.

The survey of 2,000 Americans on behalf of The University of Phoenix showed that just 43% actually knew the reason why millions have Monday off.

Twenty-eight percent mistook Memorial Day for Veterans Day, which honors the living members of the armed forced who have served. Some 36% said they didn't know the difference between the two federal holidays.

And even though many have Monday off, just 46% knew Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday of May. Twenty-one percent thought it was actually the last Sunday of the month.

Given this, it's not surprising that half of those polled hadn't heard of the Moment of Remembrance, a pause for a duration of one minute to remember those who have died in U.S. military service. For the record, it's at 3 p.m. local time on Monday.

Also distressing: half of the Americans polled say they've never heard the term "Gold Star Family" -- that is, a family of a fallen military member. Once it was explained by OnePoll researchers, however, 55% of respondents said they planned to do something kind for a Gold Star Family this Memorial Day.

Despite these lapses, 87% say we should be doing more to honor both living veterans and those who gave their lives for this country, with 76% saying Memorial Day should transcend politics.

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