Memorial Day is right around the corner. For most people, Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, is all about vacations, parades, and family cookouts. This year, before you fire up the barbecue, take a moment to learn more about the history of Memorial Day. And don’t forget to try more mindful Memorial Day activities. After all, Memorial Day is a time to celebrate the brave men and women who have served in the military. Check out these five tips for honoring veterans and become a veterans advocate.
History of Memorial Day
The history of Memorial Day begins after the Civil War. In the late 1860s, small communities across the country held tributes for the fallen Civil War soldiers. Eventually “Decoration Day” was established on May 30, 1868, for the purpose of decorating graves. The name “Memorial Day” was soon commonly used instead of “Decoration Day.” And it wasn’t until 1968 when Memorial Day was established as the last Monday in May.
5 Tips for Honoring Veterans on Memorial Day
Memorial Day honors the veterans who died while serving in the U.S. military. However, you can use this day to recognize all veterans, alive and dead. If you want to honor the men and women who have served our country, check out the Mindful suggestions listed below.
- Be a veterans advocate. There are 3.8 million veterans who are disabled due to their time in service. And tens of thousands of veterans are unemployed or homeless. It’s time for us all to reach out and help veterans in need. Become a veterans advocate by donating your time and funds to veteran charities and organizations.
- Offer your service to veterans. Volunteer your time for Memorial Day. Lend a hand at local veteran nursing homes and hospitals. You can visit veterans, sponsor activities for them with a large group of friends, or simply listen to their stories.
- Reflect on your family history. Many of us have relatives who served or died in the military. Use this day to learn more about these relatives. Go through family pictures and share stories with your loved ones. You can also show your respect by going to the cemetery and laying flowers at their graves.
- Help the military families. As we honor our military let’s not forget their families, especially the parents and spouses who care for wounded soldiers. Consider joining programs like Operation Gratitude. With your donations, this program creates care packages for the family caregivers of wounded soldiers.
- Visit historic sites/museums. You can also use this holiday to educate yourself and your kids on war history. Consider visiting a historic site or a museum, like the Pearl Harbor Historic sites, the Gettysburg National Military Park, or the Arlington Memorial Park. It will be an informative experience for the whole family.