Memorial Day is a time to honor the men and women who died while serving in the military. Here you will find helpful suggestions to honor their memories and their families.
History of Memorial Day
It was first called Decoration Day and also Remembrance Day. It was instituted following the American Civil War, and became an official holiday in 1971, with the official date as the last Monday in May. This year it falls on May 30, 2022.
Why do we remember? Because these men and women gave the ultimate sacrifice, their life, to defend our freedom. It is my firm belief that without their sacrifices, we wouldn’t be experiencing the level of freedom that we do experience. Yes, America has her problems, but she is still the greatest country in the world.
Remembering and honoring our fallen shows that we are grateful for what they did.
Why is this on a senior site? Because many of those that have died would be seniors now. According to Wikipedia, the last surviving veteran from WW1 died in 2011 at the age of 110. As of 2021 there were 240,00 surviving veterans from WW2, also according to Wikipedia.
And then there are other veterans from other wars including the Korean war, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Many families have seniors who probably served in the military. We would honor them on Veterans Day. But many families are missing a senior loved one as well, and we can honor them with Memorial Day Activities.
Spend Time With Family and Friends
This is a time to be with the people you love. If you are blessed enough to have a veteran in your family, honor their service. It would be especially memorable to hear their stories. They are a part of history that should be respected.
Check your local area for events to enjoy with them, including parades, memorial services, and eating together! Also, check out how a senior living community is celebrating Memorial Day. You can ask to join them, thereby encouraging the senior veterans there in the facility.
If you don’t know where to start a conversation with a senior, I have some ideas here in my post What To Talk About With Your Elderly Loved One | Memories.
A visit to a national cemetery becomes a powerful and moving experience to recall all those who served. In a national cemetery lie the remains of those who served in combat as well as other military veterans.
All National Cemeteries will be open over the Memorial Day holiday. Some will have ceremonies, which may not be open to the public. Click on the link or more information about our National Cemeteries.
With this in mind, at 3:00 p.m. your local time, the National Monument of Remembrance Act passed in 2000 requires all Americans to stop what they are doing and pause to remember those who died for our freedoms. This observation will take place at many public places that are having ceremonies. If you are driving, turn on your lights for a minute.
Do your part at that time and reflect or pray. Most of these cemeteries place small American flags on the gravesites. Check with the cemetery to see what you can provide to honor these families. At some you may be able to volunteer to help place flowers.
The bright red poppy has become a symbol for Memorial Day, to remind us of the sacrifice made by our military, and the shedding of their blood. We wear the poppy to remember and honor them.
You can probably obtain one from a VFW post, or buy an enamel one from Walmart.
Gold Star Families
Do you know what that means? Gold Star Family is a designation given by the Department of Defense to the families of service members who died in combat. These families in particular need our respect and support. If you see someone wearing the gold star pin, know that they lost a loved one in service to their country.
Watch the National Memorial Concert
The National Memorial Day Concert will take place Sunday May 29, 2022 at 8 pm Eastern time. Check your local PBS station for times of broadcast. The concert comes from Washington DC, and will feature well known entertainers.
Wreaths Across America
Here’s another wonderful way to remember the fallen by joining in on the Wreaths Across America project. Although this isn’t a Memorial Day observation, it is one that carries on the tradition of recognizing our fallen.
This ceremony provides wreaths to various military locations across the 50 states and even at sea and abroad. This year it takes place December 17, 2022.
This is a wonderful opportunity to continue to honor those that have fallen, and to bring recognition to their families, who feel the loss even more during the holiday season.
The Memorial Day Foundation
The Memorial Day Foundation has many other ideas and even a list of other organizations that will have events on Memorial Day, including Rolling Thunder and Nam Knights. These links will provide you with many other events and ideas of how to honor Memorial Day.
This is another site that can give you an extensive list of Memorial Day events. Check out the website through the link; Veteran.com
Finally, although there are many great and patriotic songs for you to enjoy this Memorial Day, I really love Lee Greenwood’s Song, God Bless the USA. I had the thrill of seeing him live at The Grand Ole Opry where he sang this song. We all stood to honor him, God and all our veterans.
Enjoy this video of him singing this song. I hope it inspires you to be grateful for all you have because others sacrificed.
I hope you take this information to use for your Memorial Day events. If you have other thoughts about how we can honor Memorial Day, please leave them in the comments. We can all benefit from the suggestions.