Memorial Day is dedicated to those who have died while serving in the United States military. Each year, the last Monday in May becomes a sacred time as we remember our fallen warriors by speaking about them, holding memorial ceremonies, and lending a helping hand to our living veterans.
The idea of honoring deceased warriors has a deep history, but the American practice began just after the end of the Civil War. The enormous number of casualties on both sides of this terrible war took burial and memorialization to new heights of cultural significance, and the formal decoration of graves began to take place.
In 1868, General John A. Logan issued General Order Number 11, which designated May 30th as Memorial Day, established “for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades of died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.” This date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of any battle, and because May 30th is the perfect time to find flowers in bloom.
Today, we celebrate this reverent holiday in a variety of ways. If you’re not sure exactly what you can do, take a look at these 8 ways to honor veterans on Memorial Day and make sure that you pay your respect to those who died for your way of life.