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12 Ways to Honor the Fallen on Memorial Day

senior saluting the American flag for memorial dah

Did you know that Memorial Day was once called Decoration Day? The name arose after the Civil War when citizens decorated the gravesites of fallen soldiers with flowers. It has since become a public holiday to remember and honor all Americans who have died in military service. While the three-day Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer when swimming pools open, and people gather for barbecues or go on short vacations, the last Monday in May holds a more somber meaning for many American families. Here are 12 ways to honor the courageous men and women who served and gave their lives for our nation’s freedom. 

1. Display the flag.

Fly the U.S. flag at half-staff from dawn till noon on Memorial Day. You may also choose to fly the POW/MIA flag to honor prisoners of war and those missing in action. These official guidelines ensure respectful handling and display of the flag. 

2. Join the national moment of silence.

At 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, Americans are asked to pause for a minute of silence in a moment of unity, no matter where they are. This National Moment of Remembrance is often marked by the playing of ‘Taps.’ 

3. Attend a Memorial Day parade.

Look online for a local parade or memorial in your area. There’s a chance that events will be held virtually again this year. 

4. Watch the National Memorial Day Concert.

This concert features the National Symphony Orchestra as well as military bands and choral groups and is broadcast live from the U.S. Capitol Building’s West Lawn. Tune in on Sunday, May 30, 2021, at 8 p.m. on PBS. 

5. Visit a national cemetery or memorial.

Many cemeteries have memorials and pathways commemorating soldiers and veterans. Attend the cemetery’s Memorial Day ceremony or place flowers at the graves. Find a listing of national cemeteries here or state cemeteries here

6. Take a virtual tour of a war memorial.

You don’t have to travel to visit our nation’s military museums and memorials. Narrated tours (including one by actor Tom Hanks), videos, and other online resources will deepen your knowledge and bring more meaning to Memorial Day.  

7. Reflect in faith.

Attend a religious service, spend time in prayer, or simply reflect with gratitude on loved ones and strangers who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country’s future and peace in the world. 

8. Post a tribute on social media.

Share the photo and story of a loved one or friend who served on our Facebook page

9. Make a donation.

Veterans’ agencies and national organizations are always in need of financial support. Look for reputable charities that provide wounded troops services, military social services and military family support. 

10. Wear a red poppy.

Red poppies symbolize the blood shed during wartime. Artificial ones are made and handed out to raise money for veterans’ causes. Wear one to remember the fallen and commemorate the sacrifice they made for our country. 

11. Celebrate a hero.

Even if you aren’t personally connected to someone who has served, you can still call, text or visit someone who has lost a solider. Join them in celebrating the memory of this hero.

12. Show your appreciation.

It means a lot to military families that others honor the loss of their service member. Saying kind words costs you nothing and shows respect for their loved one’s ultimate sacrifice.   


Our nation’s heroes call us home.

We have a thriving population of veterans on our campus and make every effort to be one of the best senior living communities for veterans in Florida. Our location offers a range of conveniences, including accessibility to VA health care and no state tax on military pensions, as well as proximity to military museums, libraries, and recreation spots such as Fort Mose Historic State Park. Our resident veterans group proudly organizes a Memorial Day and Veterans Day program every year. Learn how you can be part of the vibrant veteran-friendly community at Cypress Village by calling 904-507-4962 today.