Memorial Day is observed on May 29 to honor the fallen service members of the U.S. military. Many businesses close in honor of the day. Here are some other ways to observe Memorial Day:
The wearing of poppies in honor of America's war dead is traditionally done on Memorial Day. For information on how to obtain poppies for use on Memorial Day, contact a veterans service organization, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), The American Legion, or a number of veterans organizations that distribute poppies annually on Memorial Day.
Memorial Day is historically known as Decoration Day. It is designated as a time to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers and/or flags.
Through local organizations you can help fund the flags and flowers laid at the graves. Or, you can make a donation to the Memorial Day Foundation to lay bouquets at the War Memorial of your choice with a custom message.
Consider making a gift to organizations such as the USO and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) to help the families of soldiers who have died in service.
On Memorial Day, fly your flags at half-staff until noon, and raise to the peak after noon. If your flag does not lower or has a short staff, tie a black ribbon above the flag (in either bow or simple tie fashion).
If you are attending a flag service, it is appropriate to lay your hand over your heart (for non-officers), or salute (for officers and uniformed affiliates) during the service and to stand at attention.
Many parades may be part of a larger service that involves the flag and/or cemetery service. It is customary to stand and show respect when the flag or service persons are present.
There are several memorials across the United States to honor soldiers. You may have one in your home town. In many cases, there is an area to lay a wreath or make a gesture of remembrance.
At 3 p.m., local time, voluntarily observe a moment of remembrance and respect. Pause from what you are doing for a moment of silence, listening to Taps, or personal prayer.
Memorial Day is a good opportunity to show your support for living members of the U.S. military as well. Consider thanking them personally, or getting in touch with local organizations to show your gratitude in other ways.
Call 877-935-2467 to speak with a Western Fraternal Life Representative.