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Reflecting and Thanking Service Members on Memorial Day

Reflecting and Thanking Service Members on Memorial Day

This Memorial Day we celebrate, honor and thank our veterans for their extraordinary commitment and courage.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May to honor the individuals who died while serving in the military, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. It was originally called Decoration Day which came from the early tradition of visiting and decorating gravesites with flowers in remembrance of Civil War service members. In 1971, Memorial Day was established as an official federal holiday. Memorial Day is commemorated at Arlington National Cemetery each year with a ceremony where a small American flag is placed on each grave. Traditionally, the President or Vice President lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. A National Moment of Remembrance, which at 3:00 pm local
time, encourages people to pause for one minute and remember, honor, and reflect on those who died in military service.

Self Reflection Questions:

  • What are some ways to commemorate Memorial Day?
  • What impact do memorials and monuments have on the way we think about history?
  • How might we support families who have lost loved ones during military service?


Memorial Day History, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs