Memorial Day is Monday, May 25, and from all of us at Watermark Retirement Communities, THANK YOU. On this day, we show appreciation and remember the brave men and women and their families who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom while serving their country in the U.S. armed forces.
A Brief History
Originally, Memorial Day was known as Decoration Day and was meant to honor the Union and Confederate soldiers who died during the American Civil War. By the 1900s, it had progressed into a day to celebrate all American soldiers who died while serving in the military. It was not until 1967 that it was renamed Memorial Day.
To celebrate this national holiday, cities and towns across the United States traditionally host Memorial Day parades and flag ceremonies, often incorporating veterans into the festivities. Americans also observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and war memorials, often to commemorate loved ones who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
Continuing the Tradition of Remembrance
This year, various groups and cities are finding creative ways to honor our troops, veterans, wounded warriors, and all those who’ve given their lives for our nation and their families. Efforts include virtual and livestreamed events, drive-by parades, online educational coloring pages and worksheets for kids and more. If you’re staying close to home, you might consider decorating your house in red, white and blue or flying an American flag (in accordance with proper guidelines). Be sure to check local listings for the annual National Memorial Day Concert airing on PBS on May 24, featuring new performances and tributes filmed in different locations around the country and iconic stories from past concerts.
If you’re looking to give back and get involved, there are many ways to support your community’s servicemen and servicewomen. For example, you can donate flowers and decorations or share your time as a volunteer with your local Memorial Day parade (many parades will be virtual this year). Consider putting together a care package for local veterans or soldiers serving overseas, or make a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project (or any similar organization) to help veterans in need. Even the simplest gesture can show a veteran how thankful you are for their bravery and commitment to our country.