3 Ways to Honor Memorial Day
Grilling. Parades. Potlucks. Ice cream and Potato salad. (Homemade, if you’re lucky.) We’ve come to celebrate Memorial Day as the kickoff to the summer season, but of course, there’s a deeper meaning to the national holiday than just an extra day off.
What’s the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day? Why do we observe both?
- Turns out Memorial Day was designated as a time to recognize those in the military who died in service, while Veteran’s Day came about after WWI as a way to celebrate all US military service veterans.
- Memorial Day was originally known as “Decoration Day” after the Civil War ended in 1868, from the tradition of placing wreaths, flowers and flags upon graves. It became commonly known as Memorial Day after WWI, becoming a national federal holiday in 1967.
Today, our country can feel very divided by differing political beliefs, but almost everyone has been touched in some way by war. And we all cherish our right to liberty and the men and women who protect our freedom.
Here’s three ways to show your gratitude this Memorial Day:
- Observe a moment of silence at 3:00 pm. Congress passed this as an official act of national unity to show remembrance for those whose lives were lost.
- Wear a Red Poppy. You might see a member of VFW selling these paper poppies. Why Red Poppies? This tradition was inspired by the 1915 poem "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrea. War worker Moina Michael made a personal pledge to always wear red silk poppies as an emblem of “keeping the faith with all who died.”
- It’s a perfect time to post a photo of someone you know who served. And also a great time to talk with family members who might have stories they want to share, to keep memories of loved ones lost alive.
We hope you enjoy the day celebrating our freedom and send out some thoughts of gratitude to all of those who’ve fought to preserve our democracy. And to all of those who have served our country, we thank you for your service and dedication to preserving our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.