Celebrating Memorial Day: Remembering Heroes

Flags across cemetary on Memorial DayMany people visit graves to place flags and remember loved ones on Memorial Day
Photo credit: Vjeran Pavic

Every year on the last Monday of May, people in the United States pay homage to the men and women who have given their lives in the service of their country. All across America, we have physical memorials to pay tribute to people we remember – previous presidents, famous explorers, Civil Rights activists – but a physical place to remember was not enough. Not only do we love to remember people at specific places, but Americans have the attitude that it is worth it every year to mark an entire day on the calendar for remembrance – a day that commemorates and acts as a Memorial Day to the people who gave us our freedoms.

Memorial Day vs. Veterans Day

It is easy to get confused between Memorial Day, which happens in May, and Veterans Day, which is always the 11th of November. Remember:

Hug a Veteran in NoVember.

Memorial Day is in May, for veterans you can’t hug.

Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day

Since it is a Federal holiday, many places are not open for business on Memorial Day, so you, your family, and your children can spend the day together. Try any of the following to remember those who deserve an annual honor:

  • Attend a Memorial Day Parade. Check your city’s listings and there is likely a Memorial Day parade, if the weather is nice. Or, gather around the TV to watch the National Memorial Day Parade broadcast from Washington D.C, sponsored by the American Veterans Center.
  • Visit a local park or memorial. Some places will be closed for the holiday, but many memorials will be open. It is a good day to visit a veteran’s grave, a battlefield, a museum, a fort, or a public monument for local soldiers.
  • Watch a war-story movie: If you have a family member who died in a particular war, it could be a deeply moving experience to watch one of the many movies about the wars in American history.
  • Publish an Everlasting Footprint. A Footprint allows you and your family to come together and share stories, photos, and memories about important veterans and priceless moments in your life. Take the day to gather together and publish a beautiful tribute to a soldier you love.

How else do you and your family members celebrate and pay tribute to the sacrifice of US soldiers? Tell us! Leave a comment or connect to our US Veterans Footprint.

About Cortni Merritt

Managing Editor, Cortni Merritt, MA, reads everything she comes across. She has degrees in both psychology and English, and has been a composition instructor, and a copywriter for lawyers, a coordinator at a dating service, and a property manager of apartments. Cortni makes it her mission to read people's stories.

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