This Memorial Day, Pay Tribute to Departed Veterans with These Seven Heartfelt Suggestions

Monday, May 20, 2024

While most of us think of Memorial Day as the kick-off to summer, it’s actually a time to remember veterans and fallen soldiers.

The federal holiday is often celebrated with barbeques and trips to the beach, but Memorial Day was not meant to be a festive occasion. Rather, it was intended to be a somber time to honor our nation’s servicemen and women who died in battle. Originally known as Decoration Day, it began after the Civil War, which divided our nation deeply. Decoration Day provided an opportunity to begin the healing process by coming together to honor those who died during the war. It remains important to pay tribute to our brave military heroes, and if you have lost a loved one who was a member of the United States Armed Forces, this holiday is especially poignant.

Here are seven ways to celebrate Memorial Day and pay tribute to those who deserve our utmost gratitude and respect.

1.     Participate in a Memorial Day tradition.

Over the years, Memorial Day has grown to include traditions like special ceremonies and wearing the red poppy of remembrance. Many places also host Memorial Day parades and other festive events. From the National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, DC to the annual Memorial Day Service at VFW Post 3065 in Hamden, there’s no shortage of opportunities to remember our fallen heroes. Do some research to find out what your locale has to offer on this special day.

2.     Write letters of appreciation to active-duty service members.

Take a moment to express your gratitude to those currently serving in the military by writing letters of appreciation. Organizations like Operation Gratitude can help you send letters and care packages to deployed troops, letting them know that their service is not forgotten.

3.     Observe a moment of silence.

Set a reminder for 3 PM so you can take part in the National Moment of Remembrance. The observation, which formally began in the year 2000, calls on Americans to voluntarily and informally take a moment of silence at this time. Use it to quietly reflect on the sacrifices made by military men and women to secure our freedom and salute those who have given their all to defend our nation. If you have lost a military loved one, offer a special salute or blessing in their honor.

4.     Honor the departed by supporting living veterans.

You don't have to wait until Veterans Day in November to show your support for America’s veterans. Many of these military heroes are in need of assistance, whether it's in the form of clothing, accessing healthcare, or simply companionship. Veterans’ agencies and national organizations are always seeking financial support, as well. There are many ways you can reach out and make a difference for veterans this Memorial Day. Charity Navigator offers a list of reputable charities that provide wounded troops services, military social services, and military family support.

5.     Wear patriotic colors.

Did you know that the American flag is not meant to be worn as an accessory item? It was never intended to be decorative, even though it often crops up everywhere as the summer months approach. Rather than sporting a flag-emblazoned tee shirt, choose a more generic red, white, and blue color scheme or star motif instead.

6.     Educate yourself and others about the history of Memorial Day.

Take some time to learn about the origins of Memorial Day and its significance. Share what you learn with friends and family to help ensure that the true meaning of the holiday is not forgotten amid the parties and beach trips.

7.     Visit your loved one’s final resting place.

A poignant way to honor your departed veteran this Memorial Day is by visiting their gravesite, the location of their cremated remains, or some other place of personal significance. Leave a fresh bouquet or an American flag to signify your enduring love and remembrance.

At Vaughn Greene Funeral Services, we are honored to care for military veterans and their families. If you have questions, would like additional information, or need to make final arrangements, please contact our caring professionals anytime.

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 25 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information about our funeral, cremation, memorial, repast, and grief counseling services, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at

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