Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday in May each year. On this day, our nation reflects and honors the selfless heroes who gave their lives defending the freedoms we enjoy. Here are some things you and your family can do this Memorial Day weekend to remember and honor these heroes.
· Visit a cemetery – Honor the memory of a family member or another veteran by putting flowers on their grave. Find veteran cemeteries near you.
· Join the national moment of silence – Pause wherever you are at 3 PM for a moment of silence to remember and honor the fallen. Learn more
· Attend local parades – Many cities have Memorial Day parades to remember those who gave their lives for our country. Check your local listings to find one nearest to you.
· Display the flag – The United States flag is flown at half-staff from dawn until noon on Memorial Day. Many also choose to fly the POW/MIA flag to honor prisoners of war and those missing in action. See tips for proper ways to display the flag.
· Donate to a local veterans organization or nonprofit – Many veterans are in need of assistance and most nonprofit organizations that provide support to veteran families rely on funding through individual donors. You can even receive a tax deduction for your donation. But please do your homework before writing a check to a charity to make sure your donor dollars will be well spent. It may surprise you, but some well-known organizations spend an overwhelming amount of money on administrative salaries. As a rule, a trustworthy charity should be spending between 75-80% on programs and direct benefit to their cause. To make a donation to VETLIFE click here.
· Volunteer – Research agencies in your area that work with veterans or active duty service members and their families and commit to volunteer your time on a regular basis. To learn more about volunteer opportunities with VETLIFE email email@example.com.
· Visit a military or veterans museum – You may be surprised to find that there are hundreds of military and war museums in the U.S. and many may be in your area. These museums offer opportunities to learn about our history and celebrate the men and women who served this nation. Type "Military Museum near me" in Google for a list of the closest museums to you or type "United States best military museums" and plan a trip to some of the other museums across the nation. Some museums are even offering virtual tours or Facebook live events during shutdown. The Michigan Heroes Museum in Frankenmuth, MI will be hosting a Facebook Live tour the Wednesday following Memorial Day as a part of their new Museum Live series to learn more or to sign up click here.
· Read the original Decoration Day proclamation – Less than 500 words in length, Logan’s proclamation, officially titled General Orders No. 11, is a sobering call-to-duty for all United States citizens.
· Wear red poppies – Red poppies are worn on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. Learn more about the symbolism behind the red poppy.