Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who passed away while serving in the U.S. military.
Its roots go back to May 5, 1868. On this day, locals gathered to pay tribute to those who died while serving in the Civil War. Since then, the holiday has evolved to honor the courageous acts of men and women who gave their lives while defending our nation’s freedoms.
As you take time to remember our fallen heroes this Memorial Day, we encourage you to participate in the following activities.
1. Display the Flag
Did you know the U.S. flag is flown at half-staff from dawn until noon on Memorial Day, then raised to full-staff until sunset?
The American flag is a portrait of our country’s historical past. It’s been a symbol of hope and unity for our country.
In celebration of Memorial Day, we encourage you to display the flag at your home or business to honor the selfless heroes who gave their lives to defend the land we love.
>>>Related Resource: Guidelines for Display of the Flag
2. Visit a National or Local Cemetery
The National Cemetery Administration hosts Memorial Day events at multiple cemeteries across the country to honor the men and women who gave their lives while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
This Memorial Day, visit a national or local cemetery with family members and friends. Bring patriotic flags and flowers to place at your loved one’s gravesite. There are a number of national cemeteries in Northeast Ohio, with Woodland Cemetery Soldiers’ Lot in Cleveland and Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Seville. If permitted by the cemetery, you may also choose to decorate the graves of other fallen soldiers.
3. Donate or Volunteer
Donating to national veterans’ organizations across the country is a great way to show your support on Memorial Day. You can also help veterans in your community by volunteering.
Many communities across the Cleveland area hold Memorial Day parades or events. If a parade will be held in your area, volunteer to walk in it. If you don’t see any events in your area, consider volunteering your time at the local Cleveland VA Medical Center.
4. Have a Conversation With a Military Member in Your Family
Although Memorial Day is reserved to honor those who were unable to return home while serving, Memorial Day is also a great time to celebrate those who did return home.
Servicemen and women often appreciate the opportunity to talk about their decision to serve. Start a meaningful conversation with a military member in your family. Some sample questions to ask include:
- What branch are / were you in? Why did you choose that one?
- What inspired you to join?
- What is / was the most rewarding part of serving?
- What is / was the most important thing you learned?
>>>Related Resource: Get Access to Even More Conversation-Starting Questions
5. Watch the National Memorial Day Concert
Tune into your local PBS station on Sunday, May 26 at 8 p.m. for the National Memorial Day Concert. This multi-award-winning television event has become an American tradition, honoring the military service and sacrifice of all men and women.
Held live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, the concert unifies the country in remembrance of those who gave their lives for our nation. With musical performances, you won’t want to miss one of PBS’ highest-rated programs, featuring an all-star lineup.
6. Take a Moment of Silence
Did you know there is a national moment of silence every year on Memorial Day?
The National Moment of Remembrance asks Americans to pause at 3 p.m. every Memorial Day for one minute as an act of national unity.
As you enjoy your community’s parade or attend a cookout with friends and family, remember to pause at 3 p.m. and reflect and thanks those who have given their lives to serve our country and freedom.
Let Us Help You Honor a Fallen Hero or Veteran
Busch Funeral and Crematory Services has proudly assisted the families of veterans for more than 100 years, and has seen the level of responsibility it takes to ensure a memorial of the highest caliber.
For more information on our services, contact Busch to help you plan a celebration of life for a fallen soldier.