Memorial Day is an American holiday that is celebrated on the last Monday of May each year. It is a day in which we honor the men and women who died while serving in the United States military.
This holiday was known as Decoration Day when it originated in the years following the Civil War, becoming an official federal holiday in 1971.
Most Memorial Day traditions are centered around visiting cemeteries or memorials, family get-togethers, and watching local parades. This day also, unofficially, marks the beginning of summer.
If you don’t have any Memorial Day traditions in your household, it isn’t too late to start! Try out some of these!
Organizations like Supportourtoops.org have a page dedicated to sending care packages out to active veterans. On their website, there is a list of rules that need to be followed and a list of what can be included. Personal hygiene products, batteries, snacks, and fun things to hang around their living quarters are just a few of the things you can put together!
You could visit a loved one of yours that served or even visit a random grave. If you find yourself out and about, stop by a Veterans cemetery; you’d be surprised to see that some may be untouched. Take a moment to visit them. Let them know how much you appreciate their sacrifice.
Go to your local flower shop and buy a couple of flower bouquets. Spend an hour out of your day walking around to veterans' graves and placing a flower on top.
You won’t be able to get all of them, but it may bring their family joy when they come and see a flower atop the headstone, and they will know someone else was thinking about them this Memorial Day.
The Friday before Memorial Day was declared National Poppy Day. This tradition dates back to the 1920s, where wearing a poppy is seen as a way to honor the fallen and support the living.
The American Legion typically passes out poppies on that Friday.
We all lead busy lives, but the one thing we will always have time for is one moment of silence. Take a break out of your hectic day and have a moment of silence for the brave men and women who were not able to return to their families.
There are many different websites that allow you to read about some of the fallen, along with some that give insight into the wars they fought in. One of the many websites is History.com where you can see photos, learn about World Wars I and II, and read tales about some soldiers.