For many people, Memorial Day signals the start of summer, a day of family barbeques, and a day off from school or work. However, the true meaning of pausing on the last Monday of May each year, is to honor American soldiers that made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and all those lucky enough to call America home.
With a long weekend, we can enjoy our family time, and also pause to celebrate the true meaning of the holiday. Here are five ways to honor soldiers this Memorial Day:
- Place Flowers on a Veteran’s Grave – Visit a Veteran’s cemetery, such as the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City, Nevada, or the veteran section of any cemetery, and place flowers on a bare grave. Flags are also appropriate to display on a grave.
- Wear or Display a Red Poppy – A red poppy is widely recognized as a symbol to honor soldiers that have died in conflict. Around Memorial Day, VFW members sell red paper poppies outside retail stores.
- Display the U.S. Flag – If you have an American flag, display it at your home. As Memorial Day is honor fallen soldiers, etiquette is to fly the flag at half-staff from sunrise until noon. Raise it back to full-staff at noon to honor living veterans.
- Post a Tribute to a Fallen Hero on Social Media – If you have a friend or family member that died defending our country, post a picture and a written tribute to them and why they are important to you. If you don’t have a connection to a fallen soldier, write a letter to a soldier currently serving our country to thank them for their service.
- Teach your Children about Memorial Day – It is important the next generation understands the sacrifices of those that came before them. Explain to the children, in an age-appropriate manner, the true meaning of Memorial Day and include an activity to do together, such as volunteering at a veterans or active military nonprofit, or a homeless shelter like the Las Vegas Rescue Mission.
- Pray for our Fallen and Active Military Soldiers and our Country – there is nothing more powerful than prayer. Attend a church service or simply pause to pray for the souls that gave the ultimate sacrifice, as well as those currently serving in our military, their families, and our country’s future.
The Las Vegas Rescue Mission serves veterans every day at our community meal, through our addiction recovery program and by providing emergency shelter to veterans that need a place to sleep.
Show your appreciation to our veterans by volunteering with the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, or by making a financial gift in memory and appreciation of a friend or family member, past or present, serving in our military. Donate here.