Three of the six Marines in the photograph—Sergeant Michael Strank, Corporal Harlon Block, and Private First Class Franklin Sousley—would be killed in action during the battle

5 Best Practices For Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a time for remembrance, reflection, and gratitude. It's a day when we honor the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. While many of us enjoy the long weekend, barbecues, and the unofficial start of summer, it's important to remember the true meaning of this solemn occasion.

The Origins of Memorial Day

Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, traces its roots back to the Civil War era. It was a time to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers and flags. While there are several towns that claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared Waterloo, New York, as the official birthplace due to its annual community-wide event that began on May 5, 1866.

The holiday was initially observed on May 30th, but in 1971, it was changed to the last Monday of May to create a three-day weekend for federal employees.

Who We Honor on Memorial Day

Memorial Day is specifically dedicated to honoring the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It's a day to remember their courage, dedication, and sacrifice. While Veterans Day (November 11th) honors all veterans who have served, Memorial Day focuses on those who lost their lives in service to our nation.

5 Best Practices for Memorial Day

  1. Attend a Memorial Day ceremony: Many communities hold parades, ceremonies, and other events to honor the fallen. Consider attending one of these events to show your support and respect.
  2. Visit a cemetery or memorial: Pay your respects to fallen heroes by visiting a local cemetery or memorial. Place flowers or flags on gravesites as a symbol of gratitude.
  3. Fly the American flag at half-staff: Until noon on Memorial Day, the American flag should be flown at half-staff as a sign of mourning.
  4. Observe a moment of silence at 3 pm local time: The National Moment of Remembrance Act designates 3 pm local time as a time for Americans to pause and reflect on the sacrifices made by our fallen heroes.
  5. Educate yourself and others about the true meaning of Memorial Day: Share information about the history and significance of Memorial Day with your friends, family, and community.

How We Can Make a Difference This Memorial Day

  1. Donate to veterans' charities: Consider donating to organizations that support veterans and their families.
  2. Volunteer your time: Many veterans' organizations need volunteers to help with various tasks. Offer your time and skills to make a difference in the lives of veterans in your community.
  3. Reach out to veterans and their families: Offer your support and gratitude to those who have served or lost loved ones in service to our country.

Remembering the Fallen

Memorial Day is a time to remember that freedom isn't free. It's a day to honor the brave men and women who paid the ultimate price for our liberties. Let us never forget their sacrifice and continue to honor their memory by supporting our veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their families.

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