Observing Memorial Day
The month of May always brings changes and excitement when it arrives: blockbuster movies, school graduations, the NBA and NHL championships, and the official start of the summer season.
And with all of that going on, it’s important to take some time and observe Memorial Day.
While the exact origins of Memorial Day remain hazy, the holiday came into being partly out of the practice of taking a day to remember all those who died during the Civil War. Over time, the holiday evolved so that Memorial Day now commemorates American military personnel who died in any of the wars fought by the United States. That evolution included changing the date of the holiday from May 30 so it would always fall on the last Monday in May.
While not the only day set aside for honoring the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces, Memorial Day serves as the day to remember and honor persons who have died while serving. Which is why, on a day when many will be gathered to celebrate, it is right and proper to take some time to honor the fallen.
-Visit a Cemetery
If there’s a cemetery in your community, odds will be good at least a few of those interred served this country. Visit the cemetery and place flags or flowers on the graves, or just take a moment to thank them and consider the sacrifices they made.
-Visit a Memorial
Potentially more difficult to find depending on where you live, but any memorial honoring U.S. servicemen and women can serve the same purpose as a cemetery.
-Fly the U.S. Flag at half-staff until noon.
If you’ve got access to a flag pole, bring Old Glory down halfway for the first half of the day. If you’ve got a banner pole, put the American Flag up and leave it there for the entire day.
-Fly a POW/MIA Flag
If you don’t have an American flag to display, consider a Prisoner of War/Missing in Action flag. Not all soldiers make it home, but they deserve to be remembered and honored, especially on this holiday.
-Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance.
Established by Congress in 2000, the National Moment of Remembrance asks Americans to stop whatever they’re doing at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, pause for one minute, and participate in an act of national observance.
OTHER MEMORIAL DAY IDEAS
-Donate to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
-Go to a National Park
-Go to a Memorial Day parade
-Attend a Memorial Day concert