May 26, 2017
5 Things Americans Should Do This Memorial Weekend
On Monday, May 29, the United States will be celebrating Memorial Day. This holiday is typically thought of by the American public as the official start to summer. This holiday is associated with memories of picnics, barbeques and relaxing with friends and family. However, this important holiday was actually established to honor and commemorate the men and women who have risked and given their lives to serve in the armed forces of the United States of America.
Therefore, in addition to our celebration with picnics and barbeques, here are a few ideas that we as Americans can do to celebrate the holiday for its original purpose:
1. Buy a Buddy Poppy.
Throughout the days before Memorial Day weekend, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars collect donations in order to purchase fabric poppies. This flower’s significance to Memorial Day lies in the John McCrae poem, titled “In Flanders Fields”. Since 1924, disabled and poverty-stricken veterans have been assembling these Buddy Poppies. When you purchase one of these pretty flowers, your donation helps to maintain state and national rehabilitation and service programs for veterans.
2. Visit a fallen soldier’s grave.
Whether you know someone who has lost their life in battle for the sake of our country, or you would just like to commemorate an unknown soldier, you are still showing respect for those who have given their lives to protect our country. Our world is filled with many unsung heroes who have sacrificed their freedom for ours, and Memorial Day is the perfect time to take notice of that.
3. Thank a veteran or current member of the military for their service.
While Memorial Day is a time for commemorating and showing honor to our nation’s fallen soldiers, it’s also a wonderful opportunity to show appreciation to those who are still with us today. When you see a soldier, thank them for their active service and dedication to the protection of our freedom. It takes a special type of person to give up so much of their lives to help others. Don’t know a veteran? You can write a letter to a veteran or soldier! Visit OperationGratitude.com to see details on how to send letters or care packages to those soldiers who are currently employed.
4. Break out the red, white and blue!
On Memorial Day, it is a tradition to decorate graves of the fallen soldiers with American flags. In order to celebrate their brave efforts for the sake of our country, why not bring the tradition home and decorate with stars and stripes? Also if you have a flag pole, another tradition to consider is to fly the flag at half-mast from dawn until noon.
5. Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance.
This event, established by congress was created in an effort to restore Memorial Day as the sacred holiday that it was meant to be. This event asks that Americans, wherever they may be, at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, pause whatever they are doing to demonstrate an act of national unity. This moment will have a duration of approximately one minute. The time was decided because it is the time of day on Memorial Day that most Americans are out enjoying the freedoms that our soldiers have given to us on this national holiday.