Memorial Day is loaded with meaning. For many, it signifies the unofficial start of summer. As families camp and spend time together outside, or vacation, the weekend preceding Memorial Day becomes packed with memories.
But in the celebrations spent with family and friends, it is easy to forget the reason behind the holiday: honoring our veterans and those who have given their lives to protect and preserve our freedoms. Here are seven ways to honor our soldiers in uniform:
1. Fly the flag. Remember to keep it at half-staff from sunrise to noon, then on full-staff past noon until sundown.
2. Simply say thank you. Our servicemen and servicewomen appreciate the recognition. One way to do so is to send a thank-you letter to a veteran or a current member of the armed forces.
3. Support the military families. Stop by a veteran’s house and offer to help with chores and extra duties. For those families who have a loved one currently deployed, it would speak volumes to provide a meal or some kind of care to give Mom or Dad a break.
4. Visit a cemetery. Whether visiting a national cemetery (i.e. Arlington National Cemetery), or a local gravesite, one way to show thanks is to lay a wreath at a tombstone to show gratitude. It might be a great time to visit the gravesite of a relative who served.
5. Attend a memorial service. Local celebrations may include a Memorial Day parade or a concert. Doing so may be a great way to introduce young ones to veteran soldiers. Remember to stand and acknowledge the flag as it passes.
6. Observe a minute of silence. In 2000 President Bill Clinton issued a National Moment of Remembrance on Memorial Day, which occurs at 3 p.m. (local time).
7. Keep history alive. Visit a museum to remember the sacrifices of our veterans. Talk to a local veteran who can recount firsthand experience of his or her service in a war. This will help keep the immediacy of World War II, Korea, Vietnam and other wars in the forefront of our minds.
Lastly, remember to pray for our veterans and servicemen and servicewomen.
*List contributed by PastBook.com