Memorial Day is more than just a three-day weekend, it’s a time to honor and pay tribute to the men and women who lost their lives fighting for our country. Here are several ways you can honor the service and sacrifice of military, past and present on Memorial Day.
Observe the National Moment of Remembrance.
At 3pm, local time, take a moment to remember our fallen soldiers. Established by Congress, the National Moment of Remembrance asks all Americans to stop what they are doing for one minute to honor our troops.
Write a thank you letter.
Send your letter of thanks and encouragement to A Million Thanks. They’ve helped distribute millions of letters to service members. This is a great activity to get kids thinking about the true meaning of the day. Plus, many military write back so your child may get a pen pal.
Visit a VA National Cemetery.
Many National Cemeteries host specials events on Memorial Day. In addition to placing flags or flowers on grave, some cemeteries may have guest speakers, military bands, and a 21-gun salute. For a complete list of ceremonies, go to va.gov.
Visit a military museum or historic site.
From battlefields to battleships, from naval museums to historic forts — there are hundreds of places across the country where you can learn about our military history. Find a directory of military museum at Military.com.
Make a donation.
There are so many organizations doing great work for veterans, active duty military and military families. Research a few and find one that speaks to your heart like the National Military Family Association, Wounded Warrior Project or the Gold Star Wives. You may also want to consider more niche programs like United Through Reading, which helps military parents create video-recorded reading books for their children to have while they are deployed.
Watch the PBS National Memorial Day Concert.
Airing live the Sunday before Memorial Day from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, this concert honors military service and sacrifice. It’s also broadcast to the nearly one million Americans serving at bases in 175 countries and to 140 Navy ships at sea.