Remembrance this Memorial Day
Barbeques, parades, festivities and no work or school. Memorial Day is just around the corner, but let’s not forget the reason for the holiday: to remember those who have fallen in war.
Memorial Day officially became a federal holiday in 1971. Following the Civil War, Americans began decorating the graves of fallen soldiers and holding springtime tributes. Waterloo, New York became the official birthplace of the holiday in 1966. The town was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated with flowers and flags.
For many years, Memorial Day was observed on May 30. In 1968, however, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established the holiday would be the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees. The act was approved and went into effect in 1971.
If you’re looking to spend the holiday doing more than eating with friends or watching a parade, here are a few traditions that go outside-the-box:
- Visit the local veterans cemetery – find a grave that does not have freshly picked flowers and decorate the headstone in remembrance.
- Visit a veterans’ home – take some of that barbecue food to them and thank them for their service. Do something to let them know you appreciate all they have done.
- Attend a memorial service.
- Raise a flag outside your home to show appreciation.
- Honor the National Moment of Remembrance – Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time.
- Raise a POW/MIA flag – According to the Department of Defense, more than 83,000 American soldiers are missing from World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War and the Gulf War.
- Watch or listen to the National Memorial Day Concert – The concert is broadcast on PBS and NPR.
- Visit a battlefield.
- Share a photo of a fallen family member via social media – The day is for remembrance, so remember and share his/her story.
We at Firestorm remember those who have died while serving our country. We would like to wish everyone a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend.
Learn more about the proud veterans who serve on the Firestorm Expert Council.