Have you already made plans for Memorial Day? We prepared 7 ways to honor soldiers on Memorial day, one of them is to create a Tribute Photo Book with the pictures of those who fight or fought for us. Together with your neighbors and friends, you can pay respects and reflect with gratitude on the sacrifice so many in uniform have made.
Memorial Day traditionally marks the beginning of summer: families and friends congregate for a picnic or a barbecue, enjoying the long weekend. However, it is important to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day and reflect on how blessed we are to be able to get together with our loved ones on this beautiful spring day.
Memorial Day originated from the Decoration Day when people honored soldiers who died in the Civil War. Later the designation of the day expanded to all the men and women who have died in military service. Today many cities celebrate Memorial Day with memorial services, parades, public speeches and demonstrations. Everyone can contribute to honoring the soldiers and veterans and make something meaningful on this day. We offer 7 simple ways to pay a tribute on Memorial Day.
Fly the flag
The American flag can be displayed every day, but Memorial Day is one of the occasions when it is especially a good idea. According to the flag etiquette, the flag should be raised at half-staff from sunrise until noon and then on full-stuff for the rest of the day. Before noon, with the flag at half-staff, we remember those who died in wars; after noon we praise the living veterans and those who continue fighting for liberty and justice for all.
Say thank you
Whether you personally know someone who has served in the military (or is serving at the moment), or not, there is always a way to say thank you. You can send a thank-you letter to a veteran or a current member of the armed forces. Write a creative, positive, inspiring letter, ask your kid to draw something, and A Million Thanks organization will pass it to the men and women in the military. This simple gesture has encouraged thousands of soldiers already, and you can be a part of it! Another way to say thank you is to send a thank-you bouquet through the National Memorial Day Foundation, which will be placed at the New York City war memorials.
Support the military families
Support of any kind is highly appreciated. If you know a family with a loved one serving, stop by and help with some house chores or just show your gratitude. Consider donating to a charity organization that supports families of soldiers killed in combat (for instance, the National Military Family Association helps military families). You can also donate an old cell phone: Cell Phones for Soldiers, Inc. is a nonprofit that recycles donated cell phones and uses the proceeds to provide cost-free communication services for the troops overseas. You can also donate blood to the American Red Cross, they always need donors, especially with rare blood types.
Visit a cemetery
Visit one of the VA’s National Cemeteries for Memorial Day Ceremony (you can check the location of the closest one on the website of the US Department of Veterans Affairs), or go to a local cemetery and decorate the graves of fallen soldiers with flags and flowers – a great way to pay respect to those who fought for us. You can also participate in the “Adopt-A-Grave” program. Volunteers take care of the graves of the fallen soldiers, keeping them debris free and decorating them with flowers. Check if the cemeteries in your town support the program and become a member!
Attend a memorial service
Most cities have a Memorial Day parade, hold concerts and ceremonies. Attending the parade is a great way to introduce children to the traditions of Memorial Day, and your support will definitely make the marching veterans a bit happier.
Observe the minute of silence
In 2000 President Bill Clinton issued a memorandum on the White House Program for the National Moment of Remembrance that encouraged Americans “to pause for one minute at 3:00 p.m. (local time) on Memorial Day, to remember and reflect on the sacrifices made by so many to provide freedom for all”. So take a pause at 3 p.m. and pay respect to those who fought for us.
Keep the history alive
Do you know someone who served or still serves in the military? Maybe your family member is in the army? Invite veterans for a picnic and ask them to tell their stories. Although the war stories can be painful, it doesn’t have to be a depressing memorial. Keep in mind that on Memorial Day we also celebrate the life and peace that we can enjoy thanks to the soldiers. Record the stories, collect photographs of the veterans and the fallen soldiers: the memories of these people are worth being preserved and honored. With PastBook, you can create a Tribute Photo Book with the photographs of those who fight for us. Ask neighbors and friends to participate: they can upload pictures of soldiers from their families and social circles to the collaborative photo album. When printed, you can distribute the photo books to the whole neighborhood: this will raise the community spirit and remind everyone of the true meaning of Memorial Day.
Happy Memorial Day!