😵😛😦 This article was co-authored by wikiHow Staff. Our trained team of editors and researchers validate articles for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards.
This article has been viewed 71,937 times.
😵😛😦 Observed annually on the last Monday in May, the American holiday of Memorial Day was established soon after the Civil War. Over the years it has become a day to honor all the people who have given their lives to the cause of freedom. By attending patriotic events, showing your gratitude and respect, and celebrating the holiday with fun, you can have a joyous and meaningful holiday.
Method 1Method 1 of 3:Attending Patriotic Events
- 1Attend a local ceremony. Look for information in newspapers, posted on government and/or citizen information websites, or ask your neighbors to locate Memorial Day events happening in your community. Attending a local ceremony is an excellent way to celebrate in your own community.XResearch source
- 2Participate in events in the nation's capital. If you live near Washington, D.C., or can travel there, there are numerous ways you can celebrate Memorial Day. Tour some of the city's many memorials to fallen heroes, participate in the parade, or attend the always-poignant ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.XResearch sourceAdvertisement
- 3Watch the National Memorial Day Concert. This concert occurs on the west lawn of the capitol in Washington, D.C. If you can't make it in person, tune into the PBS (and in military bases, AFN Television) broadcast of the performance by the National Symphony Orchestra and a crew of special guest artists.
- 4Visit a military base or cemetery near you. Check your local paper, or call the closest military base, American Legion, or Veterans of Foreign Wars post to find out what's happening and when. Showing up will demonstrate that you are patriotic and grateful for the efforts made by others to defend the country.XResearch source
Method 2Method 2 of 3:Showing Your Gratitude and Respect
- 1Fly the American flag at half-staff. Do this from sunrise until noon on Memorial Day, in order to show your respect. Keep the U.S. flag higher than your state, county, or establishment flags. Traditionally, the American flag is positioned the highest, the state flag is in the middle, and all others are beneath them.XResearch source
- If you have novelty flags, consider removing them temporarily out of respect for this day.
- 2Put flowers and flags on graves. You can show your respect by placing items on the graves of friends and family, civilians, and military personnel. If you live far away from the final resting place of anyone you know, decorate the grave of a stranger.XResearch source
- If you would like to sponsor a thank you bouquet, you can do so through the National Memorial Day Foundation. On Memorial Day weekend, the bouquet you've sponsored will be placed at war memorials on the Mall in Washington, D.C.
- 3Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance. The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3:00 pm local time on Memorial Day for a moment of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.
Method 3Method 3 of 3:Celebrating in Fun Ways
- 1Thank a veteran. On Memorial Day, you can remember those who fought and lived to talk about it. Take some flowers, books or cookies to a nearby veterans' hospital. Make your own cards. Homemade cards come direct from your heart which is a tremendous expression of your respect.
- 2Attend a parade. All over the country, including the capitol, there are Memorial Day parades to celebrate and commemorate our fallen heroes. Look in your local newspaper, or ask around, to find a parade in your area. Bring some lawn chairs and a cooler (if permitted) and celebrate the holiday by watching the parade go by. XResearch source
- 3Spend time with family. Whether you throw a barbecue, go to a party, or simply relax in your backyard, Memorial Day is a great day to spend with people you love. If you have children, explain that this is a day to honor our military veterans and fallen soldiers.XResearch source
- You might say, "Many people have fought and died in wars in order to protect us. On Memorial Day, we celebrate those people."
- Consider making a donation on this day to a charity that supports the spouses and children of soldiers who have been killed in combat.
- You can participate in the "adopt a grave" program as a class or a family. Take care of a grave by leaving flowers there regularly and keeping it clean and free of debris.
- Tell your kids and/or family members to honor the yearly tradition as well. If they develop a habit of honoring Memorial Day now, then they will most likely teach it to their children and Memorial Day will have more meaning to America.
About This Article
To celebrate Memorial Day, look in the paper or online for local events, like parades or ceremonies, that you can attend in honor of those who have given their lives in the armed services. Alternatively, show your respect by visiting a cemetery and putting flowers or flags on the graves of military personnel. You can also fly your American flag at half-staff as a gesture of respect, and consider removing any novelty flags from your flag pole. Additionally, take a moment to say thank you to any veterans you see throughout the day. To learn how to participate in other Memorial Day events, like the National Moment of Remembrance, keep reading.