Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States Memorial Day is a solemn event, not a happy day or time. It’s a time to reverently consider the idea of sacrifice, to preserve the memories of those who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces, and to give thanks that they did so.
The holiday is observed on the last Monday of May. Memorial Day is a sacred time as we remember our fallen warriors by speaking about them, holding memorial ceremonies, visiting cemeteries, holding family gatherings, lending a helping hand to our living veterans, and participating in parades honoring those veterans. It is customary on Memorial Day to fly the flag at half staff until noon, and then raise it to the top of the staff until sunset
Taps, the 24-note bugle call, is played at all military funerals and memorial services. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. .
It is important for Americans to take time to remember the sacrifices that bought their freedom. Here are some ideas on how to celebrate this important American holiday:
- Send a note of thanks to Veterans you know.
- Donate to veteran charities or volunteer your time at a Veteran’s home or charity.
- If you know someone who has lost a loved one in battle, offer to help with a household project or help meet a special need they have.
- Visit a local cemetery and place flags or flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers.
- Even if you don’t have any veterans in your family to remember and speak of, you can always learn of the lives of other past service members through memorials and museums.
- Another way is to incorporate the colors of the flag into your wardrobe, and display a Memorial Day pin. It’s generally considered a poor choice to wear clothing with the American flag printed directly on it; the flag is meant to be flown, not worn; finding clothing that includes the essential colors and patterns is a great way to mark the occasion.
- Fly the American flag at half-staff until noon.
- Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00 pm. Pause and think upon the meaning of Memorial Day.
- Send a care package to deployed service members.
Unofficially, Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer season.