Create Memorial Day Memories

Memorial Day is a day to commemorate the brave men and women who have died while in military service to our country. The first “Memorial Day” was actually called Decoration Day and was established following the Civil War, most commonly honoring the dead of the Union forces.

The first official observance of the Decoration Day took place in Waterloo, New York on May 5, 1866 and soon thereafter became observed on May 30th because of the fact it was not an anniversary of a battle.

The Memorial Day name was not used until 1882 but caught on nationally after World War II…it eventually became the officially recognized name in 1967. The Uniform Monday Holidays Bill changed the date of Memorial Day from May 30th to the last Monday of May to give the American people a 3 day weekend to celebrate.

What can we do though on Memorial Day? How are we supposed to recognize these men and women?

Some of the most common ways Memorial Day is celebrated today:

  • Memorial Day parades – The most prominent parade is the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington DC where it is estimated that well over 250,000 people will attend. Most parades feature local veterans who are honored for their service, marching bands, youth groups (boy scouts, ROTC, etc.) and other various floats.
  • Visit local memorials and burial sites, giving thanks for these soldiers and their sacrifices.
  • Flying US flags at half-staff until noon.
  • Flying POW/MIA & Support Our Troops flags. 
  • Send care packages or letters to our troops overseas. A great website to get you in contact with a soldier currently overseas is The website gives you the address and needs of a soldier allowing you to give your support, even if it is just a letter of encouragement. 
  • Recognizing national moment of silence at 3pm. At this time, people are asked to reflect on the sacrifices of those soldiers and to give thanks and dedication to the support and prayer of our troops.

What are some of the other ways we can support these troops on Memorial Day? I asked a soldier who is currently in the military the way we can celebrate the heroes that have given their lives to our freedoms. He gave one of the best responses I could ever have expected: “The way I would honor them would be by spending time with my family…by going outside for a walk…by reading a book… by going to a baseball game…by grilling out on my porch…by doing something new that I have always wanted to do but couldn’t find the time….”

I believe what he means is this: Do things that are important to you and are made possible because of the freedoms that are protected by all of our soldiers past and present. Try to do something that makes you truly happy. If we are not taking advantage of these freedoms being protected by our soldiers then what are our soldiers defending anyways?

FlagExpressions thanks all of our soldiers who are protecting our great nation! We are truly appreciative of your sacrifices you make each and every day and we encourage all of our customers and readers of this blog to find some time to give to these brave men and women. Write a note, send some supplies or just wish them well.

Memorial Day is often just thought of as a day off of work or school but we all need to take a breath and look at the true meaning of the day! Please take a look at two of my favorite videos ever:

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