The following is from USMemorialDay.org:
Memorial Day started off as a somber day of remembrance; a day when Americans went to cemeteries and placed flags or flowers on the graves of our war dead. It was a day to remember ancestors, family members, and loved ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
But now, too many people “celebrate” the day without more than a casual thought to the purpose and meaning of the day. How do we honor the 1.8 million that gave their life for America since 1775? How do we thank them for their sacrifice? We believe Memorial Day is one day to remember.
We can do so by:
visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes
flying the U.S. Flag at half-staff until noon
flying the ‘POW/MIA Flag’ as well (Section 1082 of the 1998 Defense Authorization Act)
participating in a “National Moment of Remembrance” at 3 p.m. to pause and think upon the true meaning of the day, and for Taps to be played
renewing a pledge to aid the widows, widowers, and orphans of our fallen dead, and to aid the disabled veterans
USMemorialDay .org has received many emails from people expressing their thanks for those who have served and gave the ultimate sacrifice for this country. The following, received in 1999 and used with the author’s permission, sums up all the emails USMemorialDay .org has received very elegantly, and is true to the original spirit and meaning of Memorial Day:
This weekend I am going to do something different. I am going to buy some carnations each day and go to one of the nearby cemeteries and walk through the sections for soldiers. When I find a grave that has no flowers, I’ll leave one and say a prayer for the family of that person, who for some reason could not bring their soldier flowers. I will pray for our country and all who serve or have served. For their families, who also serve by losing precious days, weeks and months spent with their loved ones who are off serving,