Bringing the Message of Memorial Day Home

The Retreat at Ponte Vedra Beach honors fallen heroes on Memorial Day.

Since the Civil War, Americans have been gathering on Memorial Day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. This national holiday heralds the summer season and reminds all Americans to take a moment to remember the sacrifice of our valiant military service members, first responders and their families. We have continued a tradition of laying wreaths and placing flags to honor these great men and women. We also show appreciation and reverence for the families and communities who have personally lost a loved one in the line of duty. Memorial Day is a day of both celebration and grief, accounting for the honor of our heroes and reflecting on their tragic loss. The meaning of Memorial Day is to reach out in support of all the soldiers and their families who have sacrificed so much for the freedom and privilege held by our nation.

Photo and Caption Credit: The History Channel

Commemorate Memorial Day with you Family

Display 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.

Visit a Site of Remembrance – Many Americans make special flower arrangements and deliver them as a family to grave sites of their loved ones and ancestors.

Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance –  Americans still wherever they are at 3:00 p.m. to take a moment of silence to remember and honor the fallen.

Look for an Event Honoring Local Veterans – The Memorial Day holiday is a great time to let local veterans know that we appreciate their sacrifice and that they have not been forgotten.

Attend Memorial Day Parades – The Memorial Day parade is a time-honored tradition in cities and towns across America. Neighbors come together to remember with pride those who sacrificed so much for our country.

Learn about our Nation’s Memorials –  Take a trip or read about our national memorials in Washington, D.C. and around the country.

Remember Family and American History –  Read about your family history, look at old photographs and teach your children about ancestors, especially those who died in the service of their nation.  Consider reading Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address or other patriotic speeches by presidents and leaders of the armed services.

Don some Memorial Day PoppiesThe tradition of wearing red poppies on Memorial Day was inspired by the 1915 poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrea. War worker Moina Michael made a personal pledge to always wear red silk poppies as an emblem of “keeping the faith with all who died,” and began a tradition that was adopted in the United States, England, France, Australia and more than 50 other countries.


In Flanders Fields

John McCrae, 1872 – 1918

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place, and in the sky,

The larks, still bravely singing, fly,

Scarce heard amid the guns below.


We are the dead; short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.


Take up our quarrel with the foe!

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high!

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.