5 Ways to Honor Memorial Day


It’s the unofficial start of summer and for many Memorial Day is about barbecues, beaches, and big sales. Unfortunately, if you are not from a military family, the meaning of Memorial Day is lost.

Memorial Day is when we remember and honor the men and women who have served and sacrifice their all to protect our nation.

A Brief History of Memorial Day

Originally known as Decoration Day, it started after the Civil War where we lost 620,000 soldiers, roughly 2 percent of the total population at the time. On May 5, 1868, General Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, issued General Orders No. 11, which set aside May 30, 1868 "for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion."

Veterans Day honors all veterans who have served in the military. Memorial Day honors those who have died in military service.

Memorial Day became an official federal holiday in 1971. It is a day where communities across the nation honor and remember all soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom by decorating their graves and holding memorial ceremonies.

5 Ways to Honor Memorial Day

1. Attend a Memorial Day Service

Attending your community’s Memorial Day ceremony is one way to pay your respects and honor our fallen heroes.

2. Visit a Veterans Cemetery

Visit your local National cemetery and honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice by decorating their gravesite with flowers and U.S. flags. If you can’t attend, sponsor a thank-you bouquet or sign-up to volunteer next year.

3. Invite a Veteran

Invite a veteran to go with you to Memorial Day Services or to visit a veterans cemetery. Invite them to share their military stories and record them.

4. Observe a Moment of Silence

Pause at 3:00pm local time for the National Moment of Remembrance. Stop for one minute to honor those who died in service protecting our country. Officially recognized since 2000.

5. Research Your Military Ancestors

Military records contain genealogical and historical information not found anywhere else. With many websites offering FREE access to military records this weekend, it’s a great time to learn more about your heroic ancestors and the sacrifices they made in the service of our country.

Read my blog post “Finding Your Military Ancestors” for tips.


Are you interested in discovering more about your family history? I can help. I’m Kimberlie Guerrieri, a Certified Genealogist with more than 15 years of experience assisting people to discover their family histories and solve some pretty cool mysteries. Contact me for a FREE discovery call to discuss your goals and let’s get started!

Kimberlie Guerrieri