Memorial Day, which falls on May 29 this year, honors the men and women who died serving in the U.S. military. Originated in the years following the Civil War, it became an official federal holiday in 1971. With Memorial Day quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking of some of the ways you can get involved in commemorative events and promote the observance of Memorial Day. Here are some ideas:
Pause at 3 p.m. in unity on Memorial Day
Congress passed The National Moment of Remembrance Act to honor America’s fallen heroes. Signed by U.S. President Bill Clinton in 2000, the Act asks Americans, wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, to pause in an act of national unity for one minute.
Attend a Memorial Day Ceremony
Many towns and cities host Memorial Day ceremonies to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Look for a schedule of events in your local community to see what is planned. You can usually find a schedule on the city’s website or in the local newspaper etc.
Place a flag on the graves of veterans
Another way to honor fallen veterans is to place an American flag or poppy on their graves. There are local veterans groups that do this in communities. Volunteer to join a group and honor those who have died. Do consider your cemetery’s guidelines.
Run for a cause
Participate in a local Memorial Day run. Many Memorial Day runs benefit veterans, military, and their families. Sign up now so you can honor a fallen loved one and raise money for something close to your heart.
Get the kids involved
Teach your kids the meaning behind Memorial Day and the importance of honoring those who served in the military and died. Attend a Memorial Day parade in your community with your little ones. They’ll be able to see the community and other veterans paying tribute to those we’ve lost. Looking for other ways to get them involved? Print off free Memorial Day coloring pages (link pages: http://www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/holidays/memorial-day-coloring-pages/) or complete a craft.
How do Memorial Day and Veterans Day differ from each other? Here is some information to help explain the difference.
Memorial Day takes place on the last Monday in May and pays tribute to those who died during military service. It is not a blanket remembrance of all those who served in the nation’s armed forces.
Veterans Day occurs annually Nov. 11 and honors all men and women who served in the military. It is a time to recognize those who have served or are still serving and thank them for their service.
What are your plans for Memorial Day? Let us know in the comments.