Our nation owes a great debt of gratitude to the men and women who have served in the armed forces since the founding of our country 247 years ago. This is especially true for those individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives in the service of our nation.
Memorial Day this year is Monday, May 29th, and everyone at Frontier Senior Living would like to take a moment to pay tribute to the brave men and women who lost their lives while serving in the military.
The History of Memorial Day
The origin of Memorial Day has been the subject of debate for many years. There were organizations in the South who observed a special day to recognize fallen soldiers of the Civil War (1861-1865). There were also many efforts in the North after the war to commemorate Union personnel who were lost. In time, a special day of observance for the fallen would become a national event.
In 1966, the U.S. Government recognized Waterloo, NY as the official location of the founding of Memorial Day. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday, and moved it from May 30th to the last Monday in May.
The Ways Americans Commemorate Memorial Day
Each year, many communities across the United States recognize Memorial Day by hosting parades, which often feature active or retired military service people as special guests. It is also customary for members of the public to visit cemeteries and pay their respects to the fallen by placing American flags on their graves.
Some people also wear a red poppy in remembrance, which originated from the World War 1 poem “In Flanders Field”. Each year, a remembrance wreath is placed by the president or vice president of the United States at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, Virginia.
Concerts and other special events are also held throughout the national to commemorate Memorial Day.
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Memorial Day Etiquette
Here are some important things to know about Memorial Day and how to properly observe it.
Memorial Day is one of 19 days recognized by the United States Flag Code on which our nation’s flag should be flown. The Code states that the American flag should be flown at half-staff until 12pm local time, and then fully raised.
Observing the Flag
If you attend a special Memorial Day event where a flag ceremony is taking place, stand (if possible), remove your hat, place your hand over your heart and remain silent while the ceremony is taking place. For active military personnel or veterans, the flag should be saluted.
Attend an Event, Visit a Museum or Cemetery
Find out what local parades or ceremonies are happening in your local area. Memorial Day is also a special time to visit museums dedicated American history. Many will also honor the fallen by visiting a cemetery where the final resting place of service people can be found.
National Moment for Remembrance
In 1999, President Bill Clinton established a National Moment of Remembrance on Memorial Day. Everyone is encouraged to stop at 3pm (local time) and have a moment of silence to honor those who gave their lives in service of our country.
Don’t Say “Happy Memorial Day”
Even though Memorial Day is often a day off for many workers, and a time to attend social events or barbeques, it is inappropriate to wish someone a “Happy Memorial Day”. The day should be a time of solemn reflection and respect for the people who were lost protecting our nation.
Remembering Our Fallen Soldiers on Memorial Day
Everyone at Frontier Senior Living honors the memory of those who gave their lives for the freedoms that we enjoy today in our nation. We are also proud that we have many residents in our communities who have served in the military.
Let us never forget the memories of those whom we honor this Memorial Day.