Top 5 Memorial Day Traditions
Memorial Day is celebrated by millions of Americans each year. It is a time set aside for us to pay our respects to the men and women who have given their lives while serving in the military. They died protecting the freedoms that today we enjoy, and Memorial Day reminds us of this greatest sacrifice. Memorial Day has become well known for its barbeques and outdoor activities, but there are actually several traditions that Americans across the country continue to follow to pay tribute. Here are the top 5 Memorial Day traditions commonly honored on this special day.
Visit a Cemetery
One tradition that is deeply rooted in American culture involves visiting a military cemetery on Memorial Day and bringing flowers to the gravesite of a fallen hero. Even those who have not personally lost someone in combat can follow this tradition and honor someone they did not actually know. This is an excellent Memorial Day tradition that truly reflects the spirit of the holiday.
Attend a Parade
Memorial Day parades have long been an American tradition and are designed to honor and celebrate living veterans as well as those who have sacrificed their lives. Many people will bring flags to the parade to hold up and wave as a sign of respect. Remember that Memorial Day parades are intended to be more than just fun; they are about celebrating the gift of life, a gift made possible by the heroism of our fallen servicemen.
Moment of Silence
In the year 2000, Congress made a national move to show remembrance to our servicemen and women who have lost their lives while serving in the U.S. military. This National Moment of Remembrance happens at 3:00 p.m. every Memorial’s Day. During this time, for 1 minute people are asked to stay still and have a moment of quiet introspection and thanksgiving. This is something easy you can do to focus on our troops and remember what they have done for us.
Hoist a Flag
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, there are still to this day over 83,000 soldiers missing in action (MIA) or who are still prisoners of war (POW) somewhere, and Memorial Day gives us the opportunity to honor those men and women and their families. Traditionally, families and friends of MIA and POW veterans often hoist a flag on Memorial Day to show respect and to let those missing know that they are still being thought of.
Visit a Veteran
One of the best ways to celebrate Memorial Day is to visit the home of a military veteran. This can be an especially meaningful experience if you have young children, as it will impress on them the meaning of this special day. If you have a family member, friend, or know of someone who has served in a branch of the Armed Forces, then stop in and say hello, talk to them, and finally tell them thank you for their service.
Memorial Day is a time to truly pay our support to servicemen and women who have died serving our country. Amid the barbeques and gatherings, these traditions and others help us to remember what the day is really about.
*information courtesy of http://enlightenme.com/top-5-memorial-day-traditions/