Celebrating Memorial Day 2015: How to Add Meaning to Your Celebration

Celebrating Memorial Day 2015: How to Add Meaning to Your Celebration

Memorial Day isn’t just an extra day off work or a reason to decorate your porch with red, white and blue. While many of us will spend the day enjoying the spring weather, possibly attending a barbecue or cookout with friends, family or neighbors, we should all take the time to stop and remember the true meaning of Memorial Day and what we’re actually celebrating.

The Purpose of Memorial Day

Unlike Veteran’s Day, which honors all Americans that have served or are serving the in the U.S. Military, Memorial Day specifically honors those who have lost their lives defending our country and our freedom.

While some of us may have lost loved ones that we’ll visit in cemeteries or honor with a memorial service, the rest of us might not be sure how to add meaning or purpose to our Memorial Day celebrations. That’s why we’ve come up with a few ideas that can help you do just that.

  1. Observe the National Moment of Silence

At 3 PM local time, take a minute to pause and reflect on the ultimate sacrifice men and women in our armed forces have made to secure your freedom and exactly what those freedoms are. Encourage others with you to do the same and help bring some perspective to the day.

  1. Fly the Flag at Half-Staff

Prominently display your flag at half-staff in a show of remembrance. You can even volunteer at your local memorial cemetery and place flags at the grave markers of the soldiers buried there.

  1. Attend a Memorial Day Parade

Townships and cities throughout the country will hold parades, carnivals and similar events to celebrate Memorial Day. While you should enjoy your time, be sure to take some time to speak with a veteran and thank them for their service or pause at the flag to pay your respects and reflect on the meaning behind the celebration.

  1. Visit a Local Memorial

There are a variety of special ceremonies hosted at memorial sites around the country. You can find one in your area by visiting the US Department of Veterans Affairs or simply take time to virtually tour the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. and pay a personal tribute to the names listed there.

  1. Write a Letter

Whether you write a letter to a vet, to the editor of your local newspaper or simply write something meaningful on social media, share your thanks for our nation’s heroes and explain what Memorial Day means to you.

  1. Donate to a War Memorial or Veteran Service

Donating money to a war memorial can help preserve the legacy, lessons and sacrifices of our country’s heroes. If you don’t have funds to donate to a memorial, you can donate food, clothing and other items to programs and services that support our nation’s veterans.

How National Cremation Honors Memorial Day

With over 20 locations nationwide, each of our offices will celebrate Memorial Day in their own unique way. Some will be hosting events for local veterans or memorial caretakers, while others will join community celebrations or observe the national moment of silence.

How do you plan on spending your Memorial Day this year? If you have other ideas on how to honor the ultimate sacrifice of our service men and women, please share your thoughts in the comments.

As the oldest and largest provider of cremation services in the nation, National Cremation offers individuals and families affordable and simple ways to fulfill final wishes. Whether you have an immediate need or are interested in preplanning your own final arrangements, we urge you to call us at (855) 469-9474.

Special thanks to Abby Schilling, service manager of National Cremation Minneapolis/Richfield, MN for her support and contributions to this post.