Memorial Day. The unofficial start of summer and the official day to remember, honor, and mourn the military personnel that had died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
In most years, Memorial Day would be marked by special parades and big commemoration ceremonies. However, the current realities brought on by the pandemic might present new challenges in honoring those who sacrificed everything for their country.
But not to worry. Here are some suggestions for making the most of Memorial Day.
- Honor the Fallen With Your Presence
Normally, the best way to honor the memory of fallen servicemen and women would be something practical, like cleaning the tombstones at a local cemetery or placing flags and flowers on their final resting places. While that might still be possible, remember to observe the six-foot distance rule with other visitors and try to avoid crowds.
Check with any local organizations, including the Scouts and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, to see if any observations and/or maintenance events have been planned for Memorial Day. If so, check to see if they need volunteers. Be sure to check with any graveyard management teams about tending to the graves or leaving flags and flowers before doing so; remember Memorial Day remains a holiday of respect and reverence.
If none of these options can be performed, you can always take a moment consider those no longer with us in a moment of silence.
- Visit A Memorial
Respect can take many forms, especially for a holiday that can mean different things to a civilian and a veteran. As such, honoring the fallen can take various acceptable forms.
Taking time to visit a memorial honoring the fallen would also be an acceptable way to observe Memorial Day. However, should anyone chose to err on the side of caution and not physically walk to the memorial, it would be acceptable to drive to one and consider it from a safe distance. Refer to any State or county ordinances or orders regarding current health and safety practices before going; it’s possible such destinations have been closed.
- Let The Flags Fly
Probably the safest way to honor Memorial Day this year, get a flag and raise it high. If you’ve got access to a flag pole on your property, raise up the flag proudly. If you don’t, but the apartment complex or HOA building does, check with management and see if they will allow the flag to be raised. Odds will be good they’ve already got one, which makes things easier for everyone.
Also, consider a Prisoner of War/Missing in Action flag, too. And if all else fails, observe the National Moment of Remembrance, where Americans can stop whatever they’re doing at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, pause for one minute, and participate in an act of national observance.
Remembering the sacrifices of those that served may also prove to be educational in this time of yielding what we want in the name of what is best. If they could rise to meet a frightening challenge, we can, too.