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How to Understand the Meaning of Memorial Day

Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday of May every year. It is a day to remember and honor those who fought and died in service. Understand the meaning of the day by celebrating it properly.


  • Step 1: Talk to a veteran or a family member of someone serving now. Nothing can get you closer to the meaning of the day than talking to someone that the day is honoring.
  • Step 2: Take a pause at 3 p.m. to reflect. This is the nationally recognized time to reflect on the meaning of the day for just a brief moment.
  • FACT: In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day an official federal holiday.
  • Step 3: Fly a flag at half-mast. You can get a POW/MIA flag to fly alongside your American flag.
  • TIP: If your city or town doesn't have a parade, write your local government to encourage them to have one.
  • TIP: You don't have to personally know a soldier to decorate their grave. Go to to donate a bouquet.
  • Step 4: Search your family tree for ancestors who served in the military. You can also take this time to learn about family members who served the country in other ways.
  • Step 5: Go to a parade, not only to watch but to speak to others in your community about what the holiday means to them.
  • Step 6: Decorate the grave of a fallen soldier with flowers or an American flag. Memorial Day was originally called "Decoration Day" for just that purpose.

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