- Fly the American flag. On Memorial Day, the U.S. flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon. In the morning, the flag should be raised momentarily to the top and then lowered to half-staff. Americans can also honor prisoners of war and those missing in action by flying the POW/MIA flag.
- Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance. Established by Congress in 2000, it asks that you stop what you’re doing at 3 p.m. local time, for one minute on Memorial Day, for a moment of silence.
- Share a photo on social media of a fallen military member in your family.
- Visit gravesites. Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because communities honored their war dead by decorating their graves with flowers. Many Americans make special flower arrangements and deliver them, as a family, to gravesites of their loved ones and ancestors.
- Experience a national battlefield or veteran’s memorial. Memorial Day can also be an opportunity to visit or read about the national memorials in Washington, D.C., as well as local memorials around the country.
- Brush up on family and American history. Memorial Day is a favorite time for Americans to read their family history, look at old photographs and learn about their ancestors, especially those who died in the service of their nation. It’s also an occasion for reading Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and other historic and patriotic speeches by presidents and leaders of the armed services.
- Watch the National Memorial Day concert on PBS. TheNational Memorial Day Concert on PBS premieres live on the Sunday evening before Memorial Day. Most stations air the concert starting at 8 p.m. EDT / 7 p.m. CDT, and many offer additional replays.
- Visit local veteran homes and hospitals. Many living, American veterans require long-term medical care or housing assistance, and they can often feel forgotten. The Memorial Day holiday is a great time to let them know that we appreciate their sacrifice, and the sacrifice of their families and friends lost in battle.
- Take action to help military families. Pray for families who have lost loved ones and for our entire military. Send your personal thanks or a thoughtful care package to active-duty troops, or those in hospitals and rehabilitation centers. Mentor a military family member looking for employment. Help severely wounded warriors and their caregivers meet practical, everyday needs or get involved with a support group for grieving families who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
- Go to usmemorialday.org and www.memorialdayfoundation.org. Learn more about the significance of Memorial Day and how you can honor the lives of our fallen heroes.
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