Memorial Day is a day set aside to honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving our country. It is observed on the last Monday of May. This year, Memorial Day falls on Monday, May 28th. Memorial Day became an official federal holiday in 1971, but has been celebrated long before it became official.
Memorial Day, then known as Decoration Day, came about after the Civil War. The leader of the Northern Civil War Veterans organization requested that there be a remembrance honoring the lives lost during the war on May 30th, 1868. The idea of this day was to decorate and embellish the graves of those who died during the war, of both the Union and Confederate armies. Though this tradition continued in the Northern part of the United States, the Southern states paid tribute to their dead on a separate day until World War I.
Before World War I, Memorial Day was set aside to observe only those who fought and died in the Civil War, but the holiday developed into a national observance to honor military personnel who died in wars prior to and after the Civil War. The same traditions were held where people decorated graves with flowers and flags, as well as, gathering together to commemorate the brave men and women who lost their lives fighting. Every year at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, local time, there is a national moment of remembrance. These traditions still hold true to this day. People join in parades, barbecues, and memorials to show their gratitude to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
On Memorial Day, the flag should be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon only, then raised briskly to the top of the staff until sunset, in honor of the nation's battle heroes.
To join in on the Memorial Day traditions, here are some tips and ideas:
- Decorate your beloved’s grave with a grave marker. Grave markers are a great way to show others which war he/she fought for our freedom in. You can adorn the grave marker with an American stick flag or a Military stick flag.
- If you don’t want to use grave markers, you can just use an American stick flag . These flags are easy to plant into the ground and come in different sizes (4” x 6”, 8” x 12”, 12” x 18” & 16” x 24”).
- You can also embellish a bouquet of flowers with a small (4" x 6") American stick flag for a patriotic look.
- For parades, use the non-fraying American stick flags to hand out to all parade-goers.
- Remember to fly your American flag proudly on Memorial Day, as it is a national flag flying holiday.
- The flag should be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon only, then raised briskly to the top of the staff until sunset, in honor of the nation's battle heroes.
Memorial Day is a day for honor and remembrance, but Independence Day is only a month away. Keep your decor in tip top shape by following the instructions for flag care. The key for decorating this holiday is to use subtle hints of red, white, & blue, and stars & stripes.